Legendary Blues musician and King of the Blues, B.B. King, passed away May 14 in his Las Vegas home after having been put in home hospice care due to complications arising from diabetes and dehydration. His funeral will be held in Las Vegas on May 23, according to his youngest daughter, Claudette “The Bluz Queen” King.
On her Facebook page, Claudette King made an announcement Friday afternoon, that her father’s funeral would be held on Saturday, May 23, in Las Vegas. It read simply “HELLO ALL. Thank you everyone for your well wishes. My dad’s service is next Saturday, May 23rd in Las Vegas. Lying in state Friday, May 22, 2015. More later. -Claudette”
Dion Brown, executive director of the B.B. King Museum, has confirmed that there will be a public viewing for King‘s legion of fans and admirers on May 22, from 3–7 p.m, at Palm Mortuary West in Las Vegas. King’s attorney, Arthur Williams Jr., however, told the Associated Press that it was King’s wish to be buried in Indianola, Mississippi, near where he used to pick cotton as a young boy.
B.B. King, born Riley B. King, — the nickname B.B. came after working as a radio DJ, and stood for “Beale Street Blues Boy” — collapsed onstage last October, and was admitted to the hospital suffering from dehydration and exhaustion. The illness caused him to cancel the rest of his tour, and though initial reports said he was “back home and feeling better,” B.B. King never had the chance to reschedule that tour. According to B.B. King’s personal physician, Dr. Darin Brimhall, the blues legend suffered a series of strokes leading up to his death that were a result of his battle with Type 2 Diabetes.
Following King’s death in his Las Vegas home, celebrities and musicians took to social media to profess their sadness at the news, and their love for the King of Blues.
— Gladys Knight (@MsGladysKnight) May 15, 2015
Sad to hear B.B. King has left us. I loved collaborating with him, loved his music, & his spirit. He changed music forever. God bless him.
— Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) May 15, 2015
— Lenny Kravitz (@LennyKravitz) May 15, 2015
After nearly 70 years touring and thrilling audiences around the world, B.B. will finally be able to rest. King may be gone, but his music will live on forever in the hearts and souls of every single person who was ever lucky enough to hear the wailing of his guitar, Lucille, and feel his voice in their bones.
B.B. King’s funeral in Las Vegas is sure to bring out hundreds of friends and fans from near and far, and though his life started with humble beginnings, raised by his grandmother in Mississippi, picking cotton to get by, the 89-year-old has become more than a legend. B.B. has claimed the throne of King of the Blues, and that title will remain his forever.
[Photo Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images]