The musical world has lost one of its greatest legends. Riley B., The Blues Boy, B.B. King has passed away.
B.B. King was born in Berclair, MS on September 16, 1925. His parents were both sharecroppers and B.B.’s childhood was anything but easy. His parents split up when he was four, his mother died when he was eight, and by the time he was 14, B.B. was living on his own. He took these hardships, however, and grew as a person and musician. He learned how to work hard and to never give up. B.B. once said, “I never use that word, retire.” And he never did.
His career spanned over six decades and went beyond that of just playing music. One of the kindest people you’d ever met, B.B. was always wanting to give back. He set up educational programs, like the organization MUSE (Musicians United for Superior Education) which seeks to develop creativity in children through the arts. He also helped create the Foundation for Advancement of Inmate Rehabilitation.
Although he became known as the “ambassador of blues,” traveling to more than 80 countries, B.B. never forgot about his roots. Starting in 1980, B.B. came back to Indianola, MS every year for the B.B. Homecoming Festival. This free festival was another way for B.B. to give back to the community. He gave back to the community again in 2008 with the opening of the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center.
If there is one legacy to never forget about B.B. King, it should be that one. His kindhearted nature and thirst for learning should continue on along with his music. I urge you to not let that spark die. Honor B.B.’s legacy with always learning and supporting the arts. Visit www.bbkinglegacy.com and share your voice. With the help of the B.B. King Museum, help continue the legacy of learning and philanthropy.
Goodbye B.B. King. The world will never meet a better man. Until we meet again, we’ll sit back and relax with Lucille.