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Musical Icon B.B. King Dead At 89 –– A Look Back At His Life In 13 Shots

B.B. King Dead Las Vegas
Source: Getty

May. 15 2015, Published 10:04 a.m. ET

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B.B. King died at 89 at his Las Vegas home on Thursday, leaving behind an amazing musical legacy that gained him the moniker, "King of the Blues."

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B.B. King Dead Las Vegas
Source: Getty
B.B. King Dead Las Vegas
Source: Getty

King, seen here in 1949, passed away while sleeping Thursday evening, his lawyer Brent Bryson said, adding that arrangements were underway for the guitarist's funeral.

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B.B. King Dead Las Vegas
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King, seen here in 1955, had dealt with multiple health complications, including diabetes, over the past year, and was under hospice care at the time of his death.

B.B. King Dead Las Vegas
Source: Getty

Born Riley B. King, the talented bluesman, seen here in this 1960 shot, first hit the charts with his 1951 hit, "Three O'Clock Blues".

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B.B. King Dead Las Vegas
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King, taking the stage in the early '70s, was an innovator who had a huge influence on icons such as Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton

B.B. King Dead Las Vegas
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King relaxes at his home in this 1973 shot.

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B.B. King Dead Las Vegas
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King, taking the stage in 1976, was partial to a Gibson guitar he nicknamed "Lucille."

B.B. King Dead Las Vegas
Source: Getty

The blues legend, jamming in 1981, was taught to play the guitar by his uncle, a preacher, in the Mississippi Delta.

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B.B. King Dead Las Vegas
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King, seen in 1991, said of the longevity of his craft: "People all over the world have problems, and as long as people have problems, the blues can never die."

B.B. King Dead Las Vegas
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King, working the crowd in 1998, stayed active into his later years, playing up to 100 gigs annually.

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B.B. King Dead Las Vegas
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King, seen here in 2001, won 15 Grammys in his life, for a catalogue that included more than 50 albums.

B.B. King Dead Las Vegas
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Celeb colleagues took to social media to hail the late musician, with Smokey Robinson calling him "not only one of the greatest musical people ever, but one of the greatest people ever."

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B.B. King Dead Las Vegas
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King, who had 15 biological and adopted kids, is survived by 11 children, according to his family.

B.B. King Dead Las Vegas
Source: Splash

King's oldest surviving child, Chicago native Shirley King, told the AP she was upset that she wasn't able to see him a final time.

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