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May 16, 2015

Goodbye B.B. King! Here Are 20 Amazing Portraits of King From Between the 1940s and 1970s

One of the most celebrated figures in the world of music, blues master B.B. King, died in Las Vegas on Thursday at the age of 89, according to the Associated Press, citing King's lawyer.

Rolling Stone ranked King number 6 on its 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. He was ranked No. 17 in Gibson's "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time". King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He is considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname "The King of the Blues", and one of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar".

Blues musician B.B. King performs on the radio station WDIA in 1948 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Young blues singer B.B. King a local DJ at WDIA poses for a portrait circa 1948 in Memphis, Tennessee.

King with band leader Johnny Otis circa 1952.

B.B. King was pictured raising money for radio station WDIA's Wheelin' On Beale March of Dimes charity for pregnancy and baby health in Memphis, Tennessee in 1955.

B.B. King poses for a studio portrait in 1955 in the United States. He holds a Fender Esquire guitar.

B.B. King performs with his Gibson guitar "Lucille" and backup dancers in 1963 at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

B.B. King records in the studio with his "Lucille" model Gibson hollowbody electric guitar in circa 1965.

B.B. King in circa 1967 promotional photograph.

In the mid-Sixties, a new generation of guitarists were taking their inspiration directly from King. Here's the guitarist, Eric Clapton and Elvin Bishop in New York City circa 1967. It was the beginning of a long friendship between Clapton and King.

B.B. King poses for a portrait holding his Gibson hollowbody electric guitar nicknamed "Lucille" with a Japan Air Lines stewardess under a Japan Air Lines jet in Japan, ca. 1968.

Blues singer B.B. King playing guitar and smoking, 23 Jul 1969.

King onstage at New York's Central Park on June 13th, 1969.

Backstage at the 1971 Grammy Awards, where "The Thrill Is Gone" won Best R&B Male Vocal Performance.

King went to England in June 1971 to record B.B. King in London, which featured Ringo Starr on three tracks.

Portrait of B.B. King B.B. King holding his guitar in 1972.

When B.B. King appeared on American Bandstand in the Seventies, he refused to lip sync, becoming one of the few musicians to ever play live on the show.

Blues musician B.B. King performs onstage with his Gibson hollowbody electric guitar nicknamed "Lucille" in circa 1975.

B.B. King is at a 1977 show, the same year he released the LP King Size.

B.B. King is at a show at London's Hammersmith Odeon on October 14th, 1978.



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