B.B. King was an American blues singer and guitarist who was widely celebrated as one of the greatest blues musicians of all time. He was born Riley B. King in 1925 in Mississippi and was raised in Arkansas. He began playing the guitar at the age of 12 and quickly developed a unique, emotional style of playing. He went on to become a prolific recording artist, songwriter and live performer, and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. King had a profound influence on rock and roll, inspiring generations of musicians and becoming one of the most recognizable and beloved musicians of all time.
Riley B. King was born on September 16, 1925, in Itta Bena, Mississippi. He was the son of sharecroppers Albert and Nora Ella King. He was the youngest of five children. At the age of 12, King was given his first guitar and taught himself to play. He would go on to master the guitar with the help of other local blues musicians. He grew up listening to the music of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lonnie Johnson, and T-Bone Walker, who all influenced his style of playing.
King began his career as a disc jockey in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1949. He played blues on the radio and soon began to gain a following. He released his first single, “Miss Martha King,” in 1949, and followed it up with “Three O’Clock Blues,” which became a hit and established him as a major blues artist. He formed the B.B. King Review in the late 1950s and earned a place among the most popular blues musicians of the era. He went on to record a total of 40 albums, with hits such as “The Thrill is Gone” and “How Blue Can You Get.”
At the time of his death in 2015, B.B. King had an estimated net worth of $30 million. He earned his wealth from his music career as a singer and guitarist, as well as from touring and endorsements. He was known for his philanthropy, donating to charities such as the United Negro College Fund and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
B.B. King was recognized for his immense talent and influence with numerous awards throughout his career. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He won 15 Grammy Awards and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006. In 2015, he was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
B.B. King was married twice. His first marriage was to Martha Lee Denton in 1943 and ended in 1952. He was then married to Sue Carol Hall from 1958 to 1966. He had 15 children with various women, including his son, blues musician Claudette King.
B.B. King was an influential figure in the blues and rock and roll scenes. His influence can be seen in the music of many popular artists, including Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and John Mayer. He was known for his passionate performances and unique style of playing. He was a mentor to many aspiring young musicians and a beloved figure in the music community. His legacy will continue to live on for generations to come.
B.B. King was a legendary blues singer and guitarist who left an indelible mark on the music world. He was a prolific recording artist, songwriter, and live performer, and was widely celebrated for his unique style of playing. His influence can be heard in the music of many popular artists and his legacy will continue to live on for generations to come.