The thrill is gone. B.B. King is gone. B.B. King died Thursday night at his home in Las Vegas at 89 years old. President Obama said there’s “going to be one killer blues session in heaven tonight.” The following was released from Yahoo News Digest on King’s health history:

King died in Las Vegas after recently returning home after a short stay in hospital, where he was treated for high blood pressure and diabetes. It was the second time in a month that King, who has lived with diabetes for more than 20 years, had been admitted to hospital. He cancelled the final shows of his 2014 tour last October after falling ill in Chicago.

King was known for getting a sound like no other from each note he played. Although he didn’t always play fast notes, you could feel each note he played. Eric Clapton wrote in his 2008 biography mentioning BB King:

He is without a doubt the most important artist the blues has ever produced and the most humble and genuine man you would ever wish to meet. In terms of scale or stature, I believe that if Robert Johnson was reincarnated, he is probably B.B. King.

King named each and everyone of his guitars Lucille. The story goes that two men fought over a woman at a dance B.B. played at. A stove caught fire and after B.B. ran back inside to the dance to fetch his guitar, he later learned the woman’s name was Lucille. Each guitar would be named Lucille to remind himself never to get into a fight over a woman.

King spoke with Rolling Stone in 2013:

I’m slower. As you get older, your fingers sometimes swell. But I’ve missed 18 days in 65 years. Sometimes guys will just take off; I’ve never done that. If I’m booked to play, I go and play. The crowds treat me like my last name. When I go onstage people usually stand up, I never ask them to, but they do. They stand up and they don’t know how much I appreciate it.”


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