The “King of the Blues”, guitarist and singer BB King, has died aged 89.
King, known for his hits My Lucille, Sweet Little Angel and Rock Me Baby, died in his sleep in Las Vegas.
Born in Mississippi, King began performing in the 1940s, going on to influence a generation of musicians and work with Eric Clapton and U2.
Once ranked as the third greatest guitarist of all time, he had been suffering ill health in recent months.
He was recently taken to hospital with a diabetes-related illness.
Fellow musicians paid tribute to King including blues guitarist Buddy Guy, who often played with him.
“BB King was the greatest guy I ever met,” he wrote on Instagram.
“The tone he got out of that guitar, the way he shook his left wrist, the way he squeezed the strings… man, he came out with that and it was all new to whole guitar playin’ world.
“He could play so smooth, he didn’t have to put on a show. The way BB did it is the way we all do it now. He was my best friend and father to us all.”
Clapton posted a video tribute on Facebook to express his sadness at the death of his “dear friend”.
“I want to thank him for all the inspiration and encouragement he gave me as a player over the years, and for the friendship that we enjoyed,” he said.
“There’s not a lot left to say because this music is almost a thing of the past now, and there are not many left who play it in the pure way that BB did. He was a beacon for all of us who love this kind of music.”
Lenny Kravitz tweeted: “BB, anyone could play a thousand notes and never say what you said in one.”
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