Rhythm and blues icon B.B. King has passed away at his Las Vegas home today, AP reports.
B.B. King remains one of the most influential guitarists of all time, known for minimal style and soaring tone on his trademark black Gibson guitar, ‘Lucille’. Best known for the 1970 hit The Thrill Is Gone, B.B. King inspired a generation of blues musicians and artists such as Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Keith Richards and innumerable others count King as a direct influence.
B.B. King toured and performed relentlessly his entire life, maintaining a schedule of 250-odd shows per year well into his late 80s. It was only in 2014 when health issues necessitated the cancellation of his remaining tour dates for the year that King took time off from the road to recuperate at his Las Vegas home. It was there that he passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 14 at 9:40pm local time, according to his lawyer.
King last toured Australia in 2011 for Bluesfest. In addition to festival appearances and his own headline shows on this tour, King performed a rare co-headline show with Bob Dylan in Adelaide.