Legendary Blues Singer, BB King is now another great at the gate. As so many great African-American men have met St. Peter and traveled away from this life, it seems that BB King may now soon join them, at 89-years-old. Recently placed on hospice, the singer is in his Las Vegas home receiving great care to help him adjust in the end of his life. Though details on exactly why the singer was placed on hospice are not quite clear, reports show that he recently had a minor heart attack before his second hospital trip, in two months. It was after his trip to Chicago, in October, that King fell ill and canceled the remaining shows in his 2014 tour. As fans have wished him the best and supported him with prayer, his manager, Laverne Toney, stated that he is now home, where he wants to be.
It seems that all too often the world loses a great person; one whose love in life brought joy to the world. King may not be much to some, but to many he was the greatest blues singer, whose guitar skills outranked many other great musicians. His performances attracted hundreds and his guitar playing even gained him a title in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. With more than 50 albums, millions enjoyed his music around the world. As the blues are such a solemn but powerful genre, his lyrics helped listeners get over heartbreak, ease their pains, or even wallow in their sorrows, but at the end of the song those listeners felt like they had been represented in some way.
The songs that made the singer famous also made his life legendary. Classified as the “King of Blues,” he spent his lifetime portraying the moments in life through the music he played. His era began in the 1940’s with his first recording, though it was not until later that decade that he really began to be known. Even as a child the singer performed on street corners hoping to tell his stories to the world through the art of song. He and his guitar “Lucille” later traveled the world in hopes of doing the same. It is unfortunate that King is now another great legend soon to be waiting at the gates of Heaven. His biography states that he would not be in a retirement home but would continue to be out on the road playing for people. His placement in hospice care is a tragedy to many.
Just as King played here on Earth with legendary James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul,” it is sure that he will give the angels a performance of a lifetime, as death will most likely not stop him from playing his music. In the mystery of life many believe that somehow life goes on and it is certain that Riley B. (B.B.) will carry with him his love of music. He may even join in a song with the “King of Pop” Michael Jackson, who also left this Earth a legend. As well, many of the men that the blue’s singer borrowed guitar styles from also left to wait at the white, pearly gates. Perhaps they will be strumming the strings together soon. For now, however, King still has some life left in him and he will graciously continue to remind fans that great legends, unfortunately, do not live forever.
King’s death will bring sorrow around the world. Now, more than ever, is the time to celebrate his life while he remains on this Earth. As the King of the Blues remains comfortable in his home it is the sincere hope of fans that he hold on as long as he can and go painlessly when he is ready. The world will always have those great BB King songs, but it will not always have the great musician who created them, as another great is now at the gate. Moment of silence…
Opinion by Crystal Boulware