The world has lost a legend. Blues singer BB King has died at his Las Vegas home at the age of 89, his lawyer has confirmed to the Associated Press.
Brent Bryson told the AP that the Blues legend, famous for hits such as "My Lucille" and "Sweet Little Angel" passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, May 14, in his own home.
King, who started life as a Mississippi farmhand, sold millions of records worldwide. He played a Gibson guitar which he named Lucille, and was a mentor to a whole generation of guitarists such as Eric Clapton and U2's Bono.
A winner of 15 Grammy Awards (his last gong was awarded in 2009 for his traditional blues album One Kind of Favor), King was inducted into both the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Once ranked as the third greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone (behind only Jimi Hendrix and Duane Allman), King had been hospitalized recently with a diabetes-related illness.
Stars from the music world instantly reacted to the sad news of King's passing. Lenny Kravitz took to Twitter with his tribute: "BB, anyone could play a thousand notes and never say what you said in one," he tweeted.
Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora also expressed his sadness and sympathies via social media. "My friend and legend BB King passed. I'm so so sad, he was so great to me. We've lost the King. My love and prayers to his family," he wrote via Twitter.
The Beatles' Ringo Starr also reached out to the late legend's family: "God bless BB King, peace and love to his family," he wrote.
Until recently, King was performing at least 100 concerts a year, and despite his age had no thoughts of retirement. In 2009 he joked with the BBC, "I keep working because I can't afford not to."
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