Riley B. King was born on September 16, 1925, on a cotton plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi. His parents were sharecroppers, Albert and Nora Ella King. His mother abandoned the family when he was four years old, and King was reared mostly by his grandmother in Kilmichael, Mississippi.
Attending church was where King was first introduced to music. He sang in the gospel choir at the local Baptist church and was also interested in the music sessions at the Pentecostal church since the pastor there played the guitar during the services and subsequently taught King a few chords.
Bukka White, his mother's cousin who went on to become a famous blues guitarist and vocalist, helped King start playing the guitar. After a stint as a tractor driver, King chose to accompany Bukka White to Memphis, where he finally began performing on Sonny Boy Williamson's radio show. King's appearance on the radio show became extremely successful, and it was here that he first gained a following.
|D.O.B.||September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015|
|Net Worth||$10 Million|
How Did He Begin His Career?
In 1949, while singing on the radio, King became a fixture in Memphis' blues scene on Beale Street. He would perform with a group known as the Beale Streeters there. He eventually created his own band, the B.B. King Review, after signing a recording contract with Los Angeles-based RPM Records. He began traveling the United States, doing tiny performances in Detroit, St. Louis, and Los Angeles, gaining more and more followers as he went.
His song “3 O'Clock Blues” reached number one on the Billboard Rhythm and Blues chart in 1952, launching his career. The rest of the 1950s and 1960s were filled with one chart-topper after another, with some of his most successful tunes being “You Know I Love You,” “Please Love Me,” “You Upset Me Baby,” “Every Day I Have the Blues,” and “Sweet Little Angel,” among many more.
His popularity allowed him to perform at significant venues such as the Howard Theater in Washington and the Apollo Theater in New York. He kept up a fast and frenetic traveling schedule, doing 342 shows in 1956 alone.
In the late 1960s, King's following and impact grew even further under the leadership of his new manager, Sid Seidenberg, who observed the growing popularity of blues-style music among white audiences. After opening for the Rolling Stones on their 1969 tour, King was able to book additional venues and events and build an even larger fan base. In 1970, he received a Grammy Award for his rendition of “The Thrill Is Gone,” which Rolling Stone magazine named one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
What Is the Net Worth of B.B. King?
According to Celerity Net Worth, B.B. King has an estimated net worth of $10 million.
The late B.B. King was an American blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter. As a young boy, King worked on his family's cotton farm and performed in the gospel choir at his church. When he was twelve, he finally got his hands on a guitar. Beale Street Blues Boy was the moniker given to him for his work as a disc jockey and performer. Names like “Blues Boy” and “B.B.” are abbreviations of “Blues Boy.”
Records And Nominations
In 1949, he began making records, and by 1951, he had formed the B.B. King Review. The album “The Thrill is Gone” earned him a Grammy in 1970. The first B.B. King's Blues Club debuted in Memphis, Tennessee in 1991, with a Los Angeles outpost following in 1994.
Clubs have since been established in the states of New York, Connecticut, Tennessee, Florida, and Nevada. Rolling Stone listed King as the sixth-best guitarist of all time in 2011. His induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame occurred in 1987. Up into his eighties, he was reputed to give as many as 300 concerts annually. In addition to receiving the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, he has won 15 Grammys and published over 40 studio albums.
Throughout his career, King garnered several honors and was regarded as one of the finest artists of all time. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2004, he was awarded the Polar Music Prize, which is only granted to extraordinary musicians who have improved and created important music.
Even as he became older, King continued to play, embarking on a farewell tour in 2006, but he did not formally retire from music. In reality, he continued to perform often and frequently worked with other artists, including Eric Clapton. In 2000, they received a Grammy Award for their album “Riding With the King.” Throughout the 2000s and early 2010s, King traveled the world, performing at several festivals and significant locales, including the White House in 2012.
The demands of his demanding performance schedule had a significant impact on King's personal. In November 1946, he married Martha Lee Denton, but they divorced in 1952. He later married Sue Carol Hall in 1958, but their marriage did not endure, and they divorced in 1966.
Despite the fact that neither of the marriages produced offspring, 15 children claimed that B.B. King was their father, and three more claimed so after King's death. Though the paternal links were not confirmed, King did not refute them and instead helped the 15 people who claimed to be his offspring pay for college and set up trust funds.
Throughout his life, King was active in a variety of charitable endeavors. He was a prison reform champion and the co-founder of the Foundation for the Advancement of Inmate Rehabilitation and Recreation. In 1970, he released “Live in the Cook County Jail” to raise awareness about jail concerns.
He was also interested in Little Kids Rock, an organization that works in poor schools to enhance access to music instruction, as well as diabetes awareness campaigns, as King himself has type 2 diabetes.
At the age of 89, King died in his sleep in 2015. While two of King's supposed daughters claimed that he was poisoned by business colleagues, there was no evidence of poisoning in the autopsy, and the official cause of death was judged to be vascular dementia after King suffered a series of minor strokes as a result of his type 2 diabetes.
On May 27, 2015, thousands lined the streets of Memphis to pay their respects to King as his burial procession passed along Beale Street, escorted by a brass band. He was later put to rest at the B.B. King Museum in his native state of Mississippi.