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Legend BB King's children in visit before public view


Blues legend: BB King

Blues legend: BB King


Blues legend: BB King

Five of BB King's adult children have visited the late blues great before his body goes on public view in Las Vegas.

They said the King of the Blues was dressed in a signature purple and gold brocade jacket with black lapels - not one of his most ornate.

Some among the group - daughters Karen Williams, Patty King, Rita Washington and Barbara King Winfree and son Willie King - said they did not think their 89-year-old father looked like himself.

Williams and Patty King accused King's long-time business agent, LaVerne Toney, of keeping them from seeing their father for a week after he died at home on May 14 and of preventing them from taking photos of him in his coffin.

The five family members refer to themselves as a family board.

BB King is survived by 11 of his 15 children.

Ms Toney, who worked for King for 39 years, has retained power of attorney over his affairs and estate despite several court challenges by Williams and Patty King.

She said she was doing what BB King said he wanted.

"They want to do what they want to do, which is take over, I guess," Ms Toney said of the family group. "But that wasn't Mr King's wishes. Mr King would be appalled."

BB King's will, dated January 18, 2007, and filed on Wednesday under his birth name, Riley B King, appoints Ms Toney as sole executor of his affairs. Another daughter, Riletta Williams, was second in line, but she died last September.

Viewers will be able to file past the open coffin and security officials will prevent photos. The media is not allowed inside.

There will be a procession next Wednesday with his body down Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee, and a Handy Park tribute.

After that, King's body will be driven to Mississippi for another ceremony and burial on May 30 at the BB King Museum in Indianola.

Belfast Telegraph