Blues Icon BB King Passes Away at 89

Influential blues guitarist BB King passed away in Las Vegas after recently falling ill.

Blues guitarist and musical icon BB King passed away in Las Vegas. He was receiving hospice care after suffering dehydration.

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King, born Riley B. King, was a native to Mississippi and was known as "King of Blues." He influenced generations of guitarists from Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Mayer, The Edge, among others.

Clapton, who released a record with King in 2000 called Riding with the King, paid tribute to his late friend.

He said, "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. There's not a lot left to say because this music is almost a thing of the past now, and there are not many left who play it in the pure way that BB did. He was a beacon for all of us who love this kind of music."

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Until recently, King performed at least 100 concerts a year and helped break color barriers in blues music.

Early in his career he would play exclusively to black audiences until his sound was embraced by a wider audience and eventually became a household name.

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