The thrill is gone: B.B. King dies at 89

b king dies at 89 news bb guitar
Dan Steinberg/AP
Blues legend B.B. King has died at his home in Las Vegas, his lawyer says. Attorney Brent Bryson told The Associated Press that he died peacefully in his sleep at 9:40 p.m. on Thursday. King sold millions of records worldwide and was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame, as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked B.B. King at No. 6 on its 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. He was also ranked No. 17 in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time.” King was known as one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, for which he gained the nickname “King of the Blues.”

Born Riley B. King in Mississippi, he started playing the guitar at age 12. Like most musicians into blues, he got his start singing gospel, but when he was a teenager he was drawn to Lonnie Johnson. He also became involved in music through his cousin Bukka White, a blues singer who recorded for Victor and Vocalion.

Starting his music career in 1949, King somehow convinced the owner of WDIA, the only radio outlet exclusively for black listeners, to give him a 10-minute daily show. When King started DJing, he was known as “the Beale Street Blues Boy.” This soon became “Bee Bee” King and, finally, B.B. King.

B.B. King recorded more than 50 albums and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. When King was with Modern’s labels, he released three No. 1 R&B sides including You Know I Love You, You Upset Me Baby, and Please Love Me.

As far as King’s personal life, he had been married twice, to Martha Lee Denton (1946-1952), and to Sue Carol Hall (1958 to 1966). Due to the heavy burden touring demands had on the marriage, neither worked out. It’s been reported that King fathered and adopted 15 children.

Over the last twenty years, King has lived with Type II diabetes and was hospitalized with complications stemming from it. He continued playing concerts well into his 80s, however, and often performed in more than 100 each year.

Product Review

The new Powerbeats Pro: Stellar workout buds with one serious flaw

Beats’ first true wireless earbuds, the Powerbeats Pro, borrow technology from Apple in a pair of waterproof earbuds with nine hours of battery life. Unfortunately, an intermittent connection issue has us pumping the brakes on these Beats…
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now (May 2019)

Amazon Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be a major undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (May 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

Twilight's Robert Pattinson is the leading contender to play The Batman

Warner Bros. Pictures is giving DC Comics' Dark Knight another solo adventure on the big screen (his first since the conclusion of the Dark Knight trilogy). Here's everything we know about the studio's upcoming film The Batman.
Movies & TV

Sit down and watch some of the best stand-up comedy on Netflix

Feeling a little funny? There are hundreds of hilarious comedy specials out there, and you can't be expected to comb through them all. Lucky for you, we've compiled a list of the best stand-up specials on Netflix.
Home Theater

Battle of the best workout buds: Beats Powerbeats Pro vs. Jabra Elite Active 65t

Jabra's Elite Active 65t have become some of the most universally acclaimed true wireless headphones on the market since their launch in 2018. Here's how the new Powerbeats Pro model compete with our favorite workout earbuds.
Music

Google has 15 million subscribers for its music-streaming services

Google is chasing its competitors in the world of music streaming services, according to subscriber numbers. Google's two paid music services, YouTube Music and Google Play Music, have reportedly passed a total of 15 million subscribers.
Home Theater

Beats Powerbeats Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds: Which are better daily in-ears?

Samsung's Galaxy Buds quickly became our favorite wireless earbuds on the market when they came out. Now, there's a new player in the wireless in-ear game: Beats, whose Apple-backed Powerbeats Pro promise many of the same great features.
Music

How much is Spotify Premium, and how can you get it at a discount?

Having access to millions of songs comes at a price — albeit, a pretty small one. Before you figure out how much is Spotify Premium going to cost you, you will want to see if you qualify for a discounted (or even free) subscription.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Music

Amazon’s unheard-of price cut on Klipsch R5 Neckband earbuds is for today only

For Saturday only, Amazon has reduced the price of the comfortable and great-looking Klipsch R5 by 58%, saving lucky buyers $69. Whether you're buying a gift or upgrading for yourself, don't wait because this deal ends at 11:59 P.M. PST.
Mobile

Music junkie? Here are the 24 best music apps for consuming and creating tunes

We rummaged through the iOS and Android app stores to find the finest mobile music-creation and music-consumption apps in existence. No matter if you're on Android or iOS, here are the best music apps.
Home Theater

Spotify is quietly turning itself into a storytelling platform for artists

As it seeks to protect its gains in subscribers and provide more ways for artists and creators to engage with audiences, Spotify is testing out its own version of the popular Stories format with a new feature called Storyline.
Home Theater

Spotify hits repeat on its Premium special offer: $1 a month for 3 months

Back by popular demand it seems, or perhaps to bolster demand, Spotify is relaunching its $1 for three months of its Premium-tier service for anyone who has not previously signed up for a subscription, for a limited time.