Written by 6:14 pm Blues Legends

B.B. King : Mastering the Blues

B.b. King – The King Of Blues

B.B. King, born as Riley B. King, was an iconic American blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter. He was widely regarded as the King of Blues for his soulful voice and exceptional guitar skills. With a career spanning over six decades, B.B. King left an indelible mark on the blues genre, influencing countless musicians and leaving behind a timeless legacy.


Name B.B. King
Full Name Riley B. King
Date of Birth September 16, 1925
Date of Death May 14, 2015
Profession American blues guitarist, singer, songwriter, and record producer
Influence Influenced many later blues electric guitar players
  • Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987
  • Earned the nickname “The King of the Blues”
  • Considered one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar”
Career Performed at more than 200 concerts per year into his 70s
Birthplace Berclair, near the city of Itta Bena, Mississippi
Workplace Memphis and Chicago
Death Died at 89 in Las Vegas in 2015

Early Life

B.B. King, born as Riley B. King on September 16, 1925, in Itta Bena, Mississippi, was raised in a small town in the heart of the Delta region. Growing up in poverty, he found solace in music and began playing the guitar at a young age. His passion for music led him to perform in local churches and on street corners. In 1947, at the age of 21, King moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he found more opportunities to pursue his music career. His move to Memphis marked the beginning of a legendary journey in the world of blues.


Name Relationship Information
Riley B. King Father Riley B. King was a sharecropper and a preacher. He died when B.B. King was only 9 years old.
Elnora Farr Mother Elnora Farr was a musician and a singer. She played the guitar and taught young B.B. King about playing chords.
Willie King Sibling Willie King was B.B. King’s younger brother. He was also a musician and played the piano.
Sara Elizabeth Cupit Sibling Sara Elizabeth Cupit was B.B. King’s half-sister. She helped raise him after their mother’s death.

Height, Weight, And Other Body Measurements

Category Measurement
Height 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 meters)
Weight Average weight 224 lbs (102 kg)
Body Measurements Not available

Wife/husband / Girlfriend/boyfriend

B.B. King’s Relationships

Here are the details about B.B. King’s relationships:

B.B. King was married twice, but he was not in any relationships at the time of his passing. His last marriage was to Joan Baez and it lasted from 1958 to 1966.

B.B. King was known for having multiple relationships throughout his life. Here is a table containing some of his previous partners:

Partner Relationship Period
Martha Lee Denton Married in 1946, divorced in 1952
Sue Carol Hall Married in 1958, divorced in 1966
Mary Ella Gibson

Career, Achievements And Controversies

B.B. King, born Riley B. King, was an American blues guitarist, songwriter, and singer. Known for his distinctive guitar playing style and soulful vocals, he became a legendary figure in the world of blues music.

B.B. King gained fame through his electrifying live performances and numerous hit songs. His career spanned over six decades, starting in the 1940s and continuing until his death in 2015.

B.B. King was renowned for his contributions to the blues genre. Some of his popular works include:

  • “The Thrill is Gone”
  • “Lucille”
  • “Sweet Little Angel”
  • “Every Day I Have the Blues”

His distinctive guitar playing, characterized by its fluidity and emotion, influenced countless musicians and left an indelible mark on the history of blues music.

Throughout his career, B.B. King received numerous awards and honors, including:

  • 15 Grammy Awards
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction
  • Blues Foundation Hall of Fame induction
  • Kennedy Center Honor
  • Polar Music Prize

His achievements not only reflected his talent and impact on the music industry but also his cultural significance as a master of the blues.

While B.B. King was highly respected for his musical talent and contributions, he faced some controversies throughout his life:

  • Allegations of not properly crediting or compensating some of his collaborators.
  • Disputes regarding his estate and claims made by some of his family members after his death.
  • Concerns raised about his touring schedule and health during his later years.

It is important to note that these controversies do not overshadow B.B. King’s immense impact on the blues genre and his legacy as one of the greatest musicians of all time.


B.B. King FAQs

A: B.B. King, born Riley B. King, was an American blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential blues musicians of all time.

A: B.B. King was born on September 16, 1925.

A: B.B. King was born in Berclair, Mississippi, United States.

A: B.B. King was primarily known for playing the blues genre, but he also incorporated elements of jazz, electric blues, rhythm and blues, and gospel into his music.

A: Some of B.B. King’s popular songs include “The Thrill Is Gone,” “Everyday I Have the Blues,” “Rock Me Baby,” “Sweet Little Angel,” and “Lucille.”

A: Yes, B.B. King was a highly acclaimed musician and recipient of numerous awards. He won 15 Grammy Awards throughout his career, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987.

A: B.B. King passed away on May 14, 2015, at the age of 89.

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