Riley "B.B." King has been called the King of the Blues, and indeed he reigns across the decades as one of the pre-eminent figures in the medium. He is best-known for his distinctive single-note guitar sound, played on a guitar that he calls "Lucille," in which he bends strings till the not... More
BB King Information
Riley "B.B." King has been called the King of the Blues, and indeed he reigns across the decades as one of the pre-eminent figures in the medium. He is best-known for his distinctive single-note guitar sound, played on a guitar that he calls "Lucille," in which he bends strings till the notes seem to cry. Born in Indianola, Mississippi, in 1925, King moved to Memphis, Tennessee in his early twenties to make his living playing the blues. He landed a regular spot as a deejay and performer on radio station WDIA, where he became known as the Beale Street Blues Boy. King began recording in 1949 and had his first hit, "Three O'Clock Blues," and the song topped the rhythm & blues chart for 17 weeks, and King toured nationally. King's increasingly sophisticated and eclectic approach found him pushing the blues in new directions and yielded such breakthrough recordings as "The Thrill Is Gone," a pop-blues song that featured King's soulful voice and eloquent guitar over a backdrop of strings. In 1988, King recorded "When Love Comes to Town" with U2 for their Rattle and Hum album and movie. A gracious and articulate man, King is also known as the foremost ambassador of the blues. It was he who, in the postwar era (and especially the Sixties and Seventies), took the blues from the fringes of American music and brought it to the mainstream. He has been a inspiration to the Eric Clapton, Steve Ray, Mike Bloomfield and many more. King was given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987. He won the Grammy award for Best Traditional Blues Album nine times, in 2006 (for "B.B. King and Friends for 80"), 2003, 2001,2000,1994, 1992,1991,1986 and 1984 .In 1982, he won the Grammy for Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording (for "There Must Be a Better World Somewhere"). The Grammy for Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk was last given in 1986; the Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album was first given in 1983. In 1997, he won a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance In 1971, he won the Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance A Grammy Hall of Fame Award was given to "The Thrill is Gone" in 1998, an award given to recordings that are at least 25 years old and that have "qualitative or historical significance".