Lifestyle/Arts & Entertainment

The King of Blues Dies

Riley B. King, or BB King, died on May 14, 2015. King suffered from Type Two diabetes. He also was reported by CNN to have been in home hospice care after suffering dehydration.

A combination of these two things led to King’s death.

Bio.com recorded that King grew up in Itta Bena, Mississippi. He was enlisted in the army during World War II but decided not to go because of his key role in driving the tractor back home.

King left his hometown in Itta Bena and made his way to Memphis, Tennessee to try to launch a career in music. An article by CNN stated that King stayed with a relative of his who had his own career with playing the blues. This relative taught King techniques on how to play the blues.

After playing on the radio for Sonny Boy Williamson’s show, King gained a 10-minute spot when he would play his blues styled songs. According to CNN’s article, King also played consistently for a grill called the Sixteenth Avenue Grill. This was a time when King began to catch the eyes of people all around.

King gained his nickname BB King after being a disc jockey in Memphis for a local radio station.  According to biography.com, people started calling him “The Belle Street Blues Boy,” which eventually shortened to BB King.

In an article by biography.com, it stated that in 1949, King made his first recording. Over the next 12 years, King began touring. He would play in 300 concerts a year.

King certainly lived up to his nickname King of the Blues. According to grammy.com, King received 30 Grammy nominations, winning 15 of them.

The Washington Post stated that King had 15 children. This left a huge legal mess after he passed away. One of King’s children is Shirley King who has made a singing career of her own.

BB King’s final years were tough. An article by CNN stated that in April of 2014, King’s performance in St. Louis was “a performance that did not match Mr. King’s usual standard for excellence.” He later had to apologize publicly for his poor performance.

CNN also mentioned that in a performance in October of 2014, King fell onstage during a performance.