The name B.B King has been synonymous with the blues for more than 50 years. A 15-time GRAMMY winner and 1987 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, B.B. pioneered the electric blues as we know it today, and his prolific career has left an indelible mark on music and our culture. Undoubtedly one of the most influential and hardest working musicians of our time, his remarkable legacy will continue to inspire many generations to come. We have lost a true American treasure, and our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends, and fans around the world who have been entertained by his magnificent work.

Neil Portnow
The Recording Academy

In tribute to B.B. King, I’m posting this photo of one of my favorite guitars ever, my 1977 Gibson ES-355. Inspired to seek one out partly because of Ryan Adams and mostly because of B.B., this guitar has always been special to me because it feels like a direct link to some of history’s greatest music in a way other guitars do not. When I found it close to my Pennsylvania hometown, I drove 40 minutes to view it, inspect it, and play it. And what do you think the first thing I played on it? All of the B.B. licks I knew. Goodbye, King Riley. #guitar #bbking #vintage #gibson #es355 #es335 #walnut #1977 #varitone #vibrola

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