For so many, B.B. King simply was the blues, a musician who defined a whole genre.
Born in 1925 on a cotton plantation in the Mississippi Delta, birthplace of the American blues, King would spend his boyhood years helping his family work the land.
He soon left the cotton fields, moved to Memphis and became known as "Blues Boy", shortened to "B.B.".
His style was his own. His guitar would wail, his hand vibrating, to create the sound he wanted, full of emotion. A generation that followed heard and were spellbound, bands like the Rolling Stones.
His instantly recognisable music brought him huge success, with 15 Grammys and a fan base that included Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.
Today Clapton posted his own tribute online and bemoaned the end of an era.
King toured extensively for more than five decades, working into his 80s.
Musicians loved sharing the stage with him.
Paying tribute, US President Barack Obama, who sang with King in the White House, says, "There is going to be one killer blues session in heaven tonight."
source: newshub archive