BB King has sadly died in Las Vegas at the age of 89. The blues legend passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home on Thursday night, his lawyer confirmed.
A one-time farmhand, BB King was considered a music icon, who sold millions of albums worldwide over the course of his incredible career. He was inducted into both the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and his 2009 album, One Kind Favour, earned him his 15th Grammy award.
Blues legend BB King has passed away at the age of 89
BB – born Riley B King – is credited with introducing a new generation of fans to the blues with his heartfelt lyrics and soaring guitar. He played a Gibson guitar that he affectionately called Lucille, and was a mentor to a number of guitarists, including Eric Clapton.
The late star, who was born in Mississippi in 1925, started performing in the 1940s, and produced such hits as Lucille, The Thrill is Gone, Sweet Black Angel and Rock Me Baby.
Testaments to his presence as a singer, songwriter and guitarist have poured in on Twitter since the news of his death broke.
Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, who collaborated with the blues guitarist on his 1971 album BB King in London, tweeted: "God bless BB King, peace and love to his family Ringo and Barbara x."
Sad to hear B.B. King has left us. I loved collaborating with him, loved his music, & his spirit. He changed music forever. God bless him.— Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) May 15, 2015
Brad Paisley was among those paying tribute to the late musician
Rapper Snoop Dogg shared a picture of the star, simply writing, "R.I.P. B. B King", while county music favourite Brad Paisley posted: "Sad to hear BB King has left us. I loved collaborating with him, loved his music & his spirit. He changed music forever. God bless him."
BB was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes more than 20 years ago, but continued to be a famously relentless live performer well into his eighties. He was, however, hospitalised twice in April and had to cancel a number of tour dates at the end of 2014. On 1 May, he announced he had entered hospice care at his Las Vegas home.