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New York Times: B. B. King, Defining Bluesman for Generations, Dies at 89

B. B. King, whose world-weary voice and wailing guitar lifted him from the cotton fields of Mississippi to a global stage and the apex of American blues, died Thursday in Las Vegas. He was 89.

It was reported on Mr. King’s Web site that he died in his sleep.

Mr. King married country blues to big-city rhythms and created a sound instantly recognizable to millions: a stinging guitar with a shimmering vibrato, notes that coiled and leapt like an animal, and a voice that groaned and bent with the weight of lust, longing and lost love.

“I wanted to connect my guitar to human emotions,” Mr. King said in his autobiography, “Blues All Around Me” (1996), written with David Ritz.

WNU Editor: I saw him at Place Des Arts in Montreal about 12 years ago. Front row seat .... I could see his sweat and his emotions up close .... a performance that I will never forget. And his duets with Eric Claption .... unbelievable. The music world is smaller today, but his music will live forever.

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