In early April, blues legend B.B. King was rushed to the hospital following a diabetes-related issue, and a couple of weeks later he was placed in home hospice care in Las Vegas. Last night (May 14), the influential artist passed away. He was 89.

King -- born Riley B. King -- picked up his first Grammy award 45 years ago for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Male for his international hit, “The Thrill Is Gone.” Since then, King received 29 additional nominations, winning 14 more awards and being honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987. The year after that, “The Thrill Is Gone” was honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.

The influence of King and his beloved guitars, all affectionately named Lucille, transcended audiences, genres and generations. In his 1996 autobiography, Blues All Around Me, he described his goal as a musician as wanting to “connect my guitar to human emotions” -- and he did just that. One of his more notable collaborations (though there are many) was with U2 on their 1988 album, Rattle and Hum. “When Love Comes to Town” reached No. 1 in Ireland and No. 2 in the states:

Essentially on the road since 1951, King shared his blues with anyone who who would listen; according to The New York Times, he played 200-300 live shows every year for nearly 50 years.

At the age of of 87, King was invited to perform at the White House’s Red, White and Blues concert. Watch his performance of “The Thrill Is Gone” below:

Diffuser joins the music community and the entire world as we mourn the loss of B.B. King.

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