B.B. King, the King of Blues, Turns 80

Listen to the NPR story.

Read the Wikipedia article about B.B. King.

Visit the official website.

In 1949, King played at a dance hall when two men began to fight, which started a fire and everybody left. King realized that he had left his guitar inside the burning building. He entered the blaze to retrieve his guitar, a Gibson acoustic. The next day, King discovered that the two men were fighting over a woman named Lucille. King named that first guitar Lucille, as well as every one he owned since that near-fatal experience, "to remind me never to do a thing like that again."

At 80, King has lived a very full and active life. He has been a licensed pilot, a known gambler and is also a vegetarian, non-drinker and non-smoker. A diabetic for over ten years, King has been a visible spokesman in the fight against diabetes. He still performs 300 nights a year.

Some favorite songs: "The Thrill Is Gone", "When Love Comes To Town" (with U2), and "Riding With the King" (with Eric Clapton).

(Most of the text above is from Wikipedia, used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License)
Image source: Wikipedia

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