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B. B. King Fast Facts

Here's a look at the life of blues legend B.B. King.Perso...

Posted: Feb 16, 2018 6:50 AM
Updated: Feb 16, 2018 6:50 AM

Here's a look at the life of blues legend B.B. King.

Personal: Birth date: September 16, 1925

Death date: May 14, 2015

Birth place: Mississippi Delta cotton plantation between Indianola and what is now Itta Bena, Mississippi

Birth name: Riley B. King

Father: Albert Lee King, a sharecropper

Mother: Nora Ella (Pully) King

Marriages: Sue Carol Hall (1958-1966, divorced), Martha Lee Denton (1942-1950, divorced)

Children: Claims to have fathered 15 children with many different women

Military: US Army, 1943

Other Facts: King sang with church choirs as a child. He learned basic guitar chords from his uncle, a preacher, and only performed religious music at home.

King sang and played the blues on the corner of Church and Second in Indianola, and said he could earn more in one night singing on the corner than he could in one week working in the cotton field.

Enlisted in the Army during World War II but was released because he drove a tractor, an essential home front occupation.

His nickname, "BB" is short for Blues Boy, part of the name he used as a Memphis disc jockey, the Beale Street Blues Boy.

The first "Lucille" got her name after a fire broke out at a dance in Arkansas and King ran out forgetting his guitar and then risked his life to go back and get it. When he later found out that two men fighting over a woman named Lucille had knocked over a kerosene heater that had started the fire, he named the guitar Lucille, "to remind myself never to do anything that foolish."

King has used various models of Gibson guitars over the years and named them each Lucille. In the early 1980s, Gibson officially dropped the model number, ES-355, on the guitar King used and it became a custom-made signature model named Lucille, manufactured exclusively for the "King of the Blues."

King's daughter, Patty, was among the inmates at his concert at a Gainesville, Florida, correctional facility.

King has 30 Grammy nominations, 15 wins and a Lifetime Achievement award.

Timeline: 1937 - Receives his first guitar.

1947-1950 - Disc jockey for WDIA/AM Memphis.

1949 - Makes first recordings, "Miss Martha King/Take a Swing with Me" and "How Do You Feel When Your Baby Packs Up and Goes/I've Got the Blues."

December 1951 - His first hit record "Three O'clock Blues" is released. It stays on the top of the charts for four months.

1965 - Releases the album, "Live at the Regal."

June 6, 1968 - Plays the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco and receives his first standing ovation.

December 1969 - His trademark song, "The Thrill is Gone," is released as a single. The song wins his first Grammy, for Best R&B Vocal Performance Male, in March 1970.

May 2, 1970 - King debuts an all-blues show at Carnegie Hall.

October 8, 1970 - Appears on the Ed Sullivan Show.

1971 - Co-founds, with attorney F. Lee Bailey, FAIRR - Foundation for the Advancement of Inmate Rehabilitation and Recreation - dedicated to the improvement of prison conditions.

1981 - Grammy winner for Best Ethnic or Traditional Recording for "There Must be a Better World Somewhere."

1983 and 1985 - Grammy winner for Best Traditional Blues Recording.

1987 - Is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

1988 - Receives a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

1990 - Grammy winner for Best Traditional Blues Recording for "Live at San Quentin" and receives the National Medal of Arts from the National Endowment of the Arts.

1991 and 1993 - Grammy winner for Best Traditional Blues Album.

1994 - Performs at an invitation-only concert at Beijing's Hard Rock Caf-.

1995 - Kennedy Center Honoree.

1996 - King wins the Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance along with Art Neville, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, Eric Clapton, Jimmie Vaughan, and Robert Cray for "SRV Shuffle."

March 8, 1996 - "All Blues All Around Me," King's autobiography is published.

1999 - Grammy winner for Best Traditional Blues Album for "Blues on the Bayou."

2000 - Along with Eric Clapton wins the Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album for "Riding with the King" and with Dr. John wins for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for "Is You Is, or Is You Ain't (My Baby)."

2002 - Grammy winner for Best Traditional Blues Album for "A Christmas Celebration of Hope" and for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for "Auld Lang Syne."

2003 - Mississippi erects the First Mississippi Blues Trail historic site marker honoring its native son in Indianola.

2005 - Wins a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album for "80."

December 15, 2006 - King is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.

September 13, 2008 - The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center opens to the public. In its first year, the Center has more than 30,000 visitors.

February 2009 - Wins the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album for "One Kind Favor" (2008).

February 27, 2012 - In celebration of the blues, King performs in the East Room of the White House with Buddy Guy, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck and others.

December 11, 2012 - Documentary, "BB King: The Life of Riley," opens in the United Kingdom.

October 3, 2014 - King falls ill after a show at Chicago's House of Blues due to dehydration and exhaustion. The remainder of his tour is canceled.

April 2015 - Is hospitalized for dehydration.

April 7, 2015 - King posts a message on his official website saying he wants "to thank everyone for their concern and good wishes. I'm feeling much better and am leaving the hospital today."

May 14, 2015 - Dies at the age of 89.

May 25, 2015 - Two of King's adult children allege that he was poisoned to death by two individuals who worked for him.

July 14, 2015 - The Clark County Coroner tells CNN that there was no evidence of poisoning in the death of Blues legend B.B. King. Las Vegas Coroner, John Fudenberg, states that "Alzheimer's disease was the cause of death with other significant contributing factors."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 111322

Reported Deaths: 3202
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7751171
DeSoto663677
Harrison481181
Jackson431978
Rankin380886
Madison371792
Lee341379
Forrest295177
Jones283182
Washington251497
Lafayette241742
Lauderdale2344130
Lamar214938
Bolivar198075
Oktibbeha194654
Neshoba1806111
Lowndes173962
Panola165136
Leflore160086
Sunflower157449
Warren152154
Monroe144872
Pontotoc143519
Pike136455
Lincoln134854
Copiah134636
Marshall132626
Scott123229
Coahoma123136
Grenada120137
Simpson118148
Yazoo117233
Union113925
Holmes113260
Tate112739
Leake112239
Itawamba109024
Pearl River108256
Adams104342
Prentiss101619
Wayne98521
Alcorn95512
George93517
Marion93242
Covington91625
Tippah85120
Newton84227
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Tallahatchie81825
Winston81521
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Hancock76927
Attala76525
Clarke71448
Clay67221
Jasper66616
Walthall63327
Calhoun60912
Noxubee59516
Smith58116
Claiborne53216
Montgomery52723
Tunica51817
Lawrence49514
Yalobusha48414
Perry48022
Carroll46012
Greene45317
Stone45014
Amite41513
Quitman4136
Humphreys39916
Jefferson Davis39411
Webster36513
Wilkinson32920
Kemper31815
Benton3054
Sharkey27714
Jefferson26310
Franklin2303
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22400372
Mobile14282314
Tuscaloosa9983132
Montgomery9691196
Madison899992
Shelby703560
Lee643966
Baldwin637567
Marshall426748
Calhoun410259
Etowah402049
Morgan394532
Houston363132
DeKalb316727
Elmore309552
St. Clair279742
Limestone269227
Walker268092
Talladega255034
Cullman225823
Lauderdale206340
Autauga199928
Franklin199131
Jackson199114
Colbert190627
Russell19023
Dallas185227
Blount183823
Chilton180531
Escambia170928
Covington164729
Coffee16409
Dale162551
Pike130212
Chambers127343
Tallapoosa127286
Clarke126716
Marion104229
Butler99840
Barbour9819
Marengo96721
Winston89913
Geneva8337
Pickens80317
Randolph79514
Lawrence79230
Bibb78913
Hale74529
Cherokee71514
Clay70712
Lowndes69927
Bullock63517
Henry6316
Monroe6279
Washington62112
Crenshaw59030
Perry5796
Wilcox55712
Conecuh55413
Fayette54712
Macon52919
Cleburne5247
Sumter46421
Lamar4575
Choctaw38612
Greene33316
Coosa1963
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