BB King, who was born in Berclair MS, died peacefully in his sleep on May 14th, 2015. His daughter, Patty King, said Friday that her father had died in Las Vegas, where he announced two weeks ago that he was in home hospice care after suffering from dehydration.
King himself had released a message to his fans on May 1, 2015, saying, “I am in home hospice care at my residence in Las Vegas. Thanks to all for your well wishes and prayers.”
The singer, writer, musician and music producer has received most of the available accolades for his 65 plus years of performing. He is considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname “The King of the Blues”, and one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar.”
King was a member of both the Blues Hall of Fame and of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1990, King was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President George H.W. Bush. In 2006, President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civil award.
According to Wikipedia, King came to name all of his guitars as the result of being in a fire. A dance hall in Twist, Arkansas, where King was performing burst into flames, and the building was evacuated. Once outside, King realized that he had left his guitar inside so he went back into the burning building to retrieve his beloved $30 Gibson guitar. Two men died in the fire, and King learned the next day that they had been fighting over a woman named Lucille. King subsequently named that first guitar Lucille, as well as every guitar he has owned since, as a reminder never again to do something as stupid as run into a burning building or fight over a woman.
Rest in peace, BB King.