Academy of Achievement Logo
Home
Achiever Gallery
   + [ The Arts ]
  Business
  Public Service
  Science & Exploration
  Sports
  My Role Model
  Recommended Books
  Academy Careers
Keys to Success
Achievement Podcasts
About the Academy
For Teachers

Search the site

Academy Careers

 

If you like B.B. King's story, you might also like:
Hank Aaron,
Johnny Cash,
Ernest J. Gaines,
Vince Gill,
Lauryn Hill,
Quincy Jones,
James Earl Jones,
John R. Lewis,
Wynton Marsalis,
Johnny Mathis,
Rosa Parks and
Oprah Winfrey

B.B. King can also be seens and heard in our Podcast Center

Related Links:
B.B. King Music On Jango
B.B. King The Official Website
PBS

Share This Page
  (Maximum 150 characters, 150 left)

B.B. King
 
B.B. King
Profile of B.B. King Biography of B.B. King Interview with B.B. King B.B. King Photo Gallery

B.B. King Profile

King of the Blues

Print B.B. King Profile Print Profile

  B.B. King

"You have a soul, you have a heart, you have a feeling and your music is life. Life as we've lived it in the past, life as we're living it today and life as I believe we'll live tomorrow."

The undisputed monarch of the blues guitar, B.B. King was born on a cotton plantation in the Mississippi Delta. As a child he learned the rudiments of his instrument from his preacher and was soon performing blues and gospel songs on street corners. In 1947 he hitchhiked to Memphis, Tennessee with $2.50 in his pocket to pursue a professional music career. Within a year he was singing on the radio and in local night clubs.

In 1951 he recorded his first big hit, "Three O'Clock Blues," and began touring the country, taking his music from rural juke joints and road houses to concert halls and amphitheaters around the world. His original compositions fused elements of jazz, pop and gospel music with the classic blues. In 1970, he recorded the song that has become his calling card, "The Thrill is Gone." He has released over 50 albums to date and has received 18 Grammy Awards.

Generations of rock and blues players have imitated his fluid guitar lines, with their weeping bends and stinging vibrato. Over the years he has recorded with many of these admirers, including U2 and Eric Clapton. His contributions to his country's cultural life have been recognized with the Kennedy Center Honors and the Presidential Medal of the Arts. Now in the sixth decade of his career, B.B. King still performs hudreds of times a year, roaming the globe as America's Ambassador of the Blues.




This page last revised on Feb 11, 2011 12:10 EDT
How To Cite This Page