| 3.6°C Dublin

Tributes pour in after the death of blues legend BB King


BB King and U2

BB King and U2

BB King

BB King


BB King and U2

Tributes have flooded in for blues legend BB King, who has died at the age of 89.

His lawyer Brent Bryson said that King, who suffered from diabetes, died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Las Vegas on May 14, where he had been receiving hospice care.

King's style of singing and guitar playing was an inspiration to scores of musicians, and he mentored stars including Eric Clapton as well as collaborating with U2 on the 1989 track When Love Comes To Town.

Ringo Starr tweeted: "God bless BB King, peace and love to his family, Ringo and Barbara."

Rapper Snoop Dogg posted a photo of King holding his trademark Gibson guitar, which he always named Lucille.

Actor Hugh Laurie, who himself released blues albums in 2011 and 2013, tweeted: "Oh God. BB King. Let the sad times roll."

Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora wrote: "My friend and legend BB King passed. I'm so so sad. He was so great to me. We've lost the King. My love and prayers to his family."

Homeland star David Harewood tweeted: "RIP BB King. The thrill is gone. Legend."


Former Pop Idol winner Will Young wrote: "BB King - the most wonderful blues singer and guitarist. I suggest everyone gets one of his records to hear true soul and spirit."

News of his death was confirmed on a Facebook page linked to the website of King's daughter Claudette.

King was hospitalised in April for a few days after suffering from dehydration related to Type 2 diabetes.

Born on a plantation to sharecropper parents, King outlived all his fellow post-World War Two blues greats - Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Lightnin' Hopkins and John Lee Hooker - to see the rough music born in the cotton fields of the segregated South reach a new audience.

"Being a blues singer is like being black twice," King wrote in his autobiography, Blues All Around Me, of the lack of respect the music got compared with rock and jazz.

He won 15 Grammys, starting in 1970 for the crossover pop hit The Thrill Is Gone, making him the biggest Grammy winner in the blues genre. In 1987, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.

King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.