Octogenarian guitar legend BB King dies in Las Vegas

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Washington, May 15: Well known guitarist Riley B. King popularly known as B.B. King died in his sleep in Las Vegas, media reported Friday.

King was American blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist. The blues has deep roots in American history, particularly African-American history.

B.B. King died on Thursday night, CNN reported.

Blue genre originated on Southern plantations in the 19th Century. Its inventors were slaves, ex-slaves and the descendants of slaves-African-American sharecroppers who sang as they toiled in the cotton and vegetable fields. It's generally accepted that the music evolved from African spirituals, African chants, work songs, field hollers, rural fife and drum music, revivalist hymns, and country dance music.

The blues grew up in the Mississippi Delta just upriver from New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz. Blues and jazz have always influenced each other, and they still interact in countless ways today.

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The Mississippi native's reign as "king of the blues" lasted more than six decades and straddled two centuries, influencing a generation of rock and blues musicians, from Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan, to Sheryl Crow and John Mayer.

In 1970, he won his first Grammy, for Best R&B Vocal Performance Male for his trademark song, "The Thrill is Gone." That same year, he debuted an all-blues show at Carnegie Hall and appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

Over the years, he racked up 30 Grammy nominations and 15 wins, including two in 2000.

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