Remembering B.B. King: Musicians, Celebrities Mourn “King of the Blues”

B.B. King is being hailed in obituaries and tributes across the entertainment world as among greatest blues musicians of all time.

"The world has physically lost not only one of the greatest musical people ever but one of the greatest people ever. Enjoy your eternity," singer Smokey Robinson said, The Associated Press reported.

Eric Clapton thanked King in a video tribute for "all the inspiration and encouragement he gave me as a player over the years, and for the friendship that we enjoyed."

Clapton added that "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 to play it in the pure way that B.B. did."

He encouraged people to listen to the album "B.B. King: Live at the Regal," which, he said, "is where it all really started for me as a young player."

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BB King a dear friend and inspiration to me....

Posted by Eric Clapton on Friday, May 15, 2015

As news of his death spread, many other musicians turned to Twitter and Instagram to grieve the loss of the "King of the Blues."

Rolling Stone magazine has ranked him at sixth on its 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, calling King's playing style "so identifiable, it could be written out."

King’s presence stretched far beyond the music world and President Barack Obama also paid tribute.

"The blues has lost its king, and America has lost a legend," Obama said in a statement. "B.B. King was born a sharecropper's son in Mississippi, came of age in Memphis, Tennessee, and became the ambassador who brought his all-American music to his country and the world. No one worked harder than B.B. No one inspired more up-and-coming artists. No one did more to spread the gospel of the blues.

"Three years ago, Michelle and I hosted a blues concert at the White House. I hadn't expected that I'd be talked into singing a few lines of "Sweet Home Chicago" with B.B. by the end of the night, but that was the kind of effect his music had, and still does. He gets stuck in your head, he gets you moving, he gets you doing the things you probably shouldn't do - but will always be glad you did. B.B. may be gone, but that thrill will be with us forever. And there's going to be one killer blues session in heaven tonight."

Other actors, comedians, athletes and TV personalities reflected on the life of the music legend as well.

"Sesame Street" also said they mourned the loss. 

King died Thursday night at the age 89 in Las Vegas, where he had been in hospice care since early May.

B.B. King passed away late Thursday at the age of 89.
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