One of, if not, the greatest musicians to ever grace the earth died this past week. He was a man with a guitar and a song to sing. I’m talking about Riley B. King, know to the whole world as B.B. King. I grew up listening to music other people my age weren’t. B.B. King was part of the repituare of music I loved. As a boy, my favs by B.B. King were “Paying the Cost To Be The Boss”, “Caledonia”, and “Everyday I Have the Blues”; though most peoples fav song by him is the classic “The Thrill is Gone”. Most often, when popular musicians of yesteryear pass away, that becomes the moment that the accolades roll in BUT that isn’t the case with this blues legend.
Since 1970, well into his amazing career, B.B. King did 200 shows on average until the day he died. Both Rolling Stone and Gibson Guitars named him top 20 best guitar players ever in many of their lists; naming him number 3 in 2003. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in ’87. Along with these great honors, and not to mention 15 Grammys, he also recieved the National Medal of Arts in 1990, the National Heritage Fellowship in ’91, a Kennedy Center Honors in ’95, a Polar Music Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in ’04, a Presidential Medal of Freedom in ’06, an Honorary Doctorate in Music from Brown University in ’07, and Portland Maine declared May 18th B.B. King day in ’08. Wow; what a feeling it must have been to receive such acclaim while you are still around to enjoy it.
Sometimes, you hear many artist being refered to, or referring to themselves, as the greatest musician alive. Now that we live in a world without B.B. King, their dream is a possibility whereas it was only a joke before. He was such a dynamic performer who only got better with time and experience who gave the viewer such a thrill. Now unfortunately, THE THRILL IS GONE. RIP B.B. King.