The Blues King bids final goodbye at 89

Rajat Kain

BB_kingLegendary guitarist BB King is no more. The 89 year-old music great passed away peacefully in his sleep at his residence in Las Vegas. King is best known for popularising the Blues genre of music by taking it mainstream from rural juke joints in the countryside. In his illustrious music career, he had a warm influence on a generation of rock guitarists like Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan among the host of others.

Tributes began pouring in soon after the news of his demise was known.

Buddy Guy, his co-guitarist in a long career wrote “BB King was the greatest guy I ever met…the tone he got out of that guitar, the way he shook his left wrist, the way he squeezed the strings… man, he came out with that and it was all new to whole guitar playin’ world”.

“I want to thank him for all the inspiration and encouragement he gave me as a player over the years, and for the friendship that we enjoyed,” another legend Eric Clapton said as he paid tributes.

Popular alternate rock-n-roll artist Lenny Kravitz tweeted, “BB, anyone could play a thousand notes and never say what you said in one”.

Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora too paid tributes saying, “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”.

Born in Mississippi, US, the legendary musician began his career in the 1940s and was once even ranked as the third greatest guitarist of all times. King will be remembered to have influenced big names of the industry like Eric Clapton and U2.

King will always be remembered for a deep, resonant singing voice and a style of string play which could easily be recognised as the one that came from his finger nodes. Among his signature style of playing guitar was “the butterfly”, an improvised style of play by fluttering the left hand vibrato. Over the years, his style influenced many guitar players across the genres.

However, later in his life King was diagnosed with diabetes related illness. He was even hospitalised in the April this year for few days.