Iconic blues singer, songwriter and guitarist B.B. King has sadly died at age 89.
The musician passed in his sleep on the evening of Thursday, May 14 at home in Las Vegas after months of declining health, his lawyer confirmed to The Associated Press.
B.B. at age 22 in 1948. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
In early April, B.B. was hospitalized twice after suffering from dehydration, a complication of his Type II diabetes. He was similarly treated for dehydration last October after falling ill during a performance. Soon after, the singer canceled the remaining eight concert dates of his tour.
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The 15-time Grammy winner first rose to fame in the late 1940s with a performance on Sonny Boy Williamson's radio show in Memphis, Tenn., which quickly garnered him a dedicated fan base and led to regular singing engagements. Throughout his nearly 70-year career in music, B.B. recorded more than 50 albums and typically performed 250 concerts per year.
B.B. performing in 1960. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
He was also a beloved mentor to other musicians including Eric Clapton, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix and Keith Richards, among others. Upon learning of his death, fans of the legendary musician, including Ringo Starr and Lenny Kravitz, began offering their condolences on social media.
"God bless BB King peace and love to his family," the Beatles star, 74, wrote on the morning of Friday, May 15.
God bless BB King peace and love to his family Ringo and Barbarax😎✌️🌟💖— Ringo Starr (@ringostarrmusic) May 15, 2015
God bless BB King peace and love to his family Ringo and Barbarax😎✌️🌟💖
Lenny, 50, tweeted a photo of the late musician with the caption, "BB, anyone could play a thousand notes and never say what you said in one."
BB, anyone could play a thousand notes and never say what you said in one. #RIP #BBKing pic.twitter.com/YvZYH8hyJE— Lenny Kravitz (@LennyKravitz) May 15, 2015
BB, anyone could play a thousand notes and never say what you said in one. #RIP #BBKing pic.twitter.com/YvZYH8hyJE
Eric, 70, shared a touching tribute to his friend with a video on Facebook.
BB King a dear friend and inspiration to me....Posted by Eric Clapton on Friday, May 15, 2015
BB King a dear friend and inspiration to me....
B.B was a father to 15 biological and adopted children and had 50 grandchildren. His family told the AP he is survived by 11 of his children. Our thoughts are with the King family during this difficult time.
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