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B.B. King

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Itta Bena MS, United States (1925 – present)

B. B. King (b. September 16, 1925 in Itta Bena, Mississippi) is a U.S. guitarist and songwriter. He is among the most respected electric guitarists; Rolling Stone magazine ranked him third in its list of the hundred greatest guitarists of all time.

Born as Riley B. King, he began broadcasting his music live on a Memphis radio station called WDIA. At first, he used the name The Peptikon Boy on air, which later was changed to The Beale Street Blues Boy, and then further shortened to just Blues Boy or B.B.

King’s first hit on the R&B charts was “Three o’Clock in the Morning” in 1951. He first found success outside the blues market with the 1968 remake of the Roy Hawkins tune, “The Thrill Is Gone”, which became a hit on both pop and R&B charts, a rare feat. King’s mainstream success continued throughout the 1970s with songs like “To Know You Is To Love You” and “I Like To Live The Love”. From 1951 to 1985, King appeared on Billboard’s R&B charts seventy-four times.

King continues to record to this day, recording both compilations of classic songs with other top artists, and new collaborative material with artists like Eric Clapton.

Further facts:
Early life

King was born in a cabin on a cotton plantation outside of Berclair, Mississippi, to Albert King and Nora Ella Farr on September 16, 1925. In 1930, his father left the family, and his mother married another man. King was raised by his maternal grandmother Elnora Farr in Kilmichael, Mississippi.[8]

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