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|Birth:||16th September, 1925|
Riley B. King, known by the stage name B.B. King, is an African American blues songwriter, vocalist and guitarist. He is considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, because of this he is often nicknamed 'The King of Blues'. He is also known for performing tirelessly throughout his musical career appearing at 250-300 concerts per year until his seventies. In 1956 it was noted that he appeared at 342 shows, and still at the age of 87 King appears at 100 shows a year. His economy and phrasing has been a model for thousands of players, from Eric Clapton and George Harrison to Jeff Beck. King has mixed blues, jazz, swing, mainstream pop and jump into a unique sound. In King's words, When I sing, I play in my mind; the minute I stop singing orally, I start to sing by playing Lucille. Initially he worked at WDIA as a singer and disc jockey, gaining the nickname Beale Street Blues Boy, which was later shortened to Blues Boy and finally to B.B. It was there that he first met T-Bone Walker. Once I'd heard him for the first time, I knew I'd have to have [an electric guitar] myself. 'Had' to have one, short of stealing!, he said.
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