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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: 69374

Reported Deaths: 1989
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5700119
DeSoto371031
Harrison260136
Madison245569
Jackson231444
Rankin230735
Jones193159
Forrest182656
Washington170142
Lee152142
Lauderdale141592
Neshoba128892
Lamar123115
Bolivar113635
Oktibbeha113339
Warren112535
Lowndes109239
Panola106816
Sunflower105625
Scott101120
Lafayette98719
Copiah96228
Leflore94966
Pike94037
Holmes91049
Grenada85123
Pontotoc8429
Yazoo84113
Lincoln83442
Monroe82155
Simpson80631
Leake79526
Coahoma78113
Wayne78021
Tate74330
Marshall7129
Marion68420
Union66216
Adams63225
Winston62916
Covington62214
George5956
Pearl River55940
Newton54511
Tallahatchie54111
Attala52725
Walthall50221
Chickasaw47619
Noxubee46112
Tishomingo4377
Alcorn4355
Calhoun4259
Prentiss42310
Claiborne40914
Smith40613
Hancock40214
Clay40114
Jasper3949
Itawamba38710
Tippah37414
Tunica3587
Clarke33626
Montgomery3295
Lawrence3238
Yalobusha31610
Humphreys29712
Quitman2691
Carroll26111
Greene25612
Perry2428
Amite2376
Webster23712
Kemper23314
Jefferson Davis2336
Wilkinson21513
Stone2115
Sharkey2045
Jefferson1957
Benton1451
Choctaw1354
Franklin1312
Issaquena272
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 100801

Reported Deaths: 1814
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13366246
Mobile10581212
Montgomery6825151
Madison546934
Tuscaloosa426979
Unassigned392566
Baldwin367029
Shelby333437
Marshall319438
Lee270847
Morgan241819
Etowah218034
DeKalb183414
Calhoun181918
Elmore176039
Walker154465
Houston142813
Russell13892
St. Clair136320
Limestone135913
Dallas133624
Franklin129722
Cullman123012
Colbert121517
Lauderdale119020
Autauga116222
Escambia108817
Talladega105414
Jackson10264
Tallapoosa87579
Chambers84738
Dale84329
Clarke82610
Chilton8189
Blount8165
Butler77036
Coffee7656
Covington74021
Pike7137
Marion58226
Barbour5796
Lowndes57124
Marengo56616
Hale48526
Bullock48111
Winston45711
Perry4454
Bibb4445
Washington44412
Wilcox43410
Monroe4236
Pickens4089
Randolph40211
Conecuh39310
Sumter36618
Lawrence3542
Macon33914
Crenshaw3326
Choctaw28912
Cherokee2768
Clay2675
Geneva2652
Henry2643
Greene25211
Lamar2302
Fayette2235
Cleburne1291
Coosa1053
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