B.B. King, the most recognized blues musician of the modern era, who defined the genre for nearly seven decades and inspired countless artists with his unique style of electric guitar play â€“ earning him the nickname the â€œKing of Bluesâ€ â€“ died Thursday. He was 89.
King died in his sleep at 9:40 p.m. Thursday at his Las Vegas home, his attorney, Brent Bryson, told The Associated Press.
King announced on May 1 that he entered home hospice care at his Las Vegas residence, ending his legacy as a relentless touring artist. He performed at hundreds of shows a year well into his older age, always with his trademark Gibson guitar nicknamed â€œLucille.â€
King, an inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, won 15 Grammy awards over his lifetime â€“ more than any other blues musician. His â€œstring-bending and vibratoâ€ technique on the guitar earned him spots on several lists of the instrumentâ€™s greatest players of all time.
King was born Riley B. King in 1925 and as a boy worked on a sharecropping plantation in Itta Benna, Mississippi.