This Classic B.B. King Performance Proves Why He Was A Legend

Photo: J Tavin/Everett/REX USA.
B.B. King, the legendary blues artist, died on Thursday in Las Vegas, where he was in home hospice care. He was 89. Diagnosed with diabetes in the mid-1990s, King was hospitalized last year due to severe dehydration. Last October, after collapsing during a Chicago concert, he had to cancel eight remaining tour dates due to dehydration and exhaustion. His attorney, Brent Bryson, confirmed to the Associated Press that King passed peacefully in his sleep.  

King is incomparable and irreplaceable. Although he didn't invent the blues, his enduring career was devoted to carrying and elevating the musical tradition. He brought the genre to the forefront of the music industry, wildly influencing generations of artists along the way. Famously, his style was expressive, his lyrics raw, his technique impeccable and his voice rich and soothing.

King, who's real name was Riley B. King, began recording his first songs in 1945. Over the course of his career, he won 15 Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He toured the world year-round into his late 80s.

Some say to truly understand the magnitute of King's music, you needed to see him live. It was on stage where the conviction of his performance was felt. His first live album, Live At The Regal, was recorded in 1964 in Chicago. Not only does King sing from the depths of his soul, but appreciates his audiences' understanding as well as their connection to the music. Take a listen to "Worry, Worry," a classic tune about a broken heart, in the video below. Listen closely to the intricate guitar playing and the moving croons — proving how a seemingly simple song can be the most effective. While he recorded many compelling albums, this is one of the best. 
Video: Courtesy of YouTube.
King believed that the blues were applicable to all, saying, "As long as people have problems, the blues can never die." Even with his passing today, he was and always will be the King of the Blues. 


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