Legendary blues singer, songwriter and guitarist B.B. King has died.
Attorney Brent Tyson told the Associated Press that King passed away peacefully in his sleep at 9:40pm local time on Thursday at his Las Vegas home. He was 89.
Born in Mississipi, King began his musical career in the 1940s and was inducted into both the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He had suffered from Type II diabetes for two decades.
King developed a commercially-friendly style of blues guitar-playing that would influence a generation of musicians. He combined heavy vibrato with short, stinging guitar runs while singing almost exclusively about romance.
King played a Gibson guitar that he affectionately called Lucille, and was ranked the third greatest guitar player of all time by Rolling Stone.
For more than half a century King averaged 275 performances per year; in 1956 alone, he played 342 shows.
Known as the undisputed ‘King of the Blues’, he was awarded his 15th Grammy in 2009 in the traditional blues album category for One Kind Favor. [via BBC News]
According to NME, the singer’s global Spotify streams have increased by 9800% following his death.