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Obama leads the tributes to blues legend BB King, dead at age of 89

By Katie Archer

Published 16/05/2015

BB King performing in Belfast in 1990
BB King performing in Belfast in 1990

US President Barack Obama said "America has lost a legend" after blues musician BB King died aged 89.

King's lawyer Brent Bryson said the musician, who suffered from diabetes, died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Las Vegas on Thursday, where he had been receiving hospice care.

Mr Obama said: "The blues has lost its king, and America has lost a legend. BB 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.

"There's going to be one killer blues session in Heaven tonight."

Tributes to the guitarist have also come from fellow musicians Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr. Clapton posted a video tribute on Facebook to the man he called a "dear friend".

King's electric blues style was an inspiration to scores of musicians and he mentored stars including Clapton as well as collaborating with U2 on the 1989 track When Love Comes To Town.

Ringo Starr tweeted: "God bless BB King, peace and love to his family, Ringo and Barbara."

Rapper Snoop Dogg posted a photo of King holding his trademark Gibson guitar, which he always named Lucille, on his Instagram page.

Actor Hugh Laurie, who himself released blues albums, tweeted: "Oh God. BB King. Let the sad times roll."

Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora wrote: "My friend and legend BB King passed. I'm so so sad."

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