President Obama released a statement mourning the passing of blues legend BB King today. Obama said that the blues has lost its king, and America has lost a legend.
In a statement, the President said:
The blues has lost its king, and America has lost a legend. 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.
King toured prolifically well into his 80s, but complications from diabetes had slowed the performer in recent years. On May 1, King posted a brief message on his website to let his fans know that he was in hospice care, “I am in home hospice care at my residence in Las Vegas. Thanks to all for your well wishes and prayers.”
Video BB King and a host of blues legends perform Sweet Home Chicago at the White House:
The next post on the site is a one sentence announcement of Mr. King’s passing, “Mr. King passed peacefully in his sleep at 9:40 pm Pacific time May 14, 2015.”
There will never be anyone else like BB King. He was an American original, and today his beloved guitar Lucille is silent.