Here at Musonomics, we usually stick to the business side of music, but we decided to take a break today to give tribute to one of music’s most soulful souls. Pioneering blues musician and Mississippi native B.B. King passed away Thursday night in his home in Las Vegas. He will be sorely missed.
Using his trusted hollow-body Gibson electric guitar which he called Lucille, B.B. King helped to define the sound of electric guitar in the late 1950’s. He influenced every guitar player who came after him, from Buddy Guy to Eric Clapton to The Edge. His music helped to bring blues to a wider audience, merging a rural blues sound with the popular sound of the big-band. He was the first blues musician to play in the former Soviet Union, and had a 40-year stretch of charting hits on Billboard.
B.B. King toured and performed for most of his life. He had Type II diabetes, and was forced to cancel a tour last fall after being diagnosed with dehydration and exhaustion. King had yet to return to touring at the time of his death, four months short of his 90th birthday.