Riley “B. B.” King has often been called the King of the Blues, but given his wide-ranging and long-lasting influence, he might more accurately be described as the blues’ lifetime ambassador.
He has brought the sound and the style across the U.S.A. and all the way to the U.S.S.R., to Caesar’s Palace and the Cook County Jail, to the Newport Jazz Festival and the Fillmore East.
He topped the rhythm and blues charts in the early Fifties, served as an inspiration to the blues-obsessed guitarists of the Sixties and reached a mainstream audience, as well as the pop Top Twenty, with his elegant and soulful “The Thrill Is Gone.”
Photography: Kevin Mazur, WireImage