He is considered to be among the best guitarists of all time, and his name synonymous with the blues, but sadly, B.B. King passed away late Thursday night. He was 89.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at No. 6 on its 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time (previously ranked No. 3 in the 2003 edition of the same list), and he was ranked No. 17 in Gibson's "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time".
According to Edward M. Komara, King "introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that would influence virtually every electric blues guitarist that followed."
King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He is considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname "The King of Blues", and one of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar" (along with Albert King and Freddie King). King was also known for performing tirelessly throughout his musical career, appearing at more than 200 concerts per year on average into his 70s. In 1956, he reportedly appeared at 342 shows.
In 1990, King was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President George H.W. Bush. In 2006, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential blues guitarists of all time, inspiring countless other electric blues and blues rock guitarists.
After the cancellation of the remaining eight shows of his 2014 tour due to health problems, King announced on October 8, 2014 he was back at home to recuperate. On May 1, 2015, after two hospitalizations caused by complications from high blood pressure and diabetes, King announced on his website that he was in hospice care at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada. He died there on May 14 at 9:40 PM.