Fifteen-time Grammy winner B.B. King is acclaimed worldwide as the King of the Blues. He was born Riley B. King in 1925 on a cotton plantation in Mississippi. While in his 20s, he hitchhiked north to Memphis, Tenn., to pursue his musical career. A radio performance under the catchy radio name, "Beale Street Blues Boy," (later shortened to "B.B.") led to steady work. King's many hits include "Payin' the Cost to Be the Boss," "Caldonia," and "The Thrill Is Gone." King's unique guitar style has influenced thousands of players, including Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. He has won many special awards, including the Presidential Medal of the Arts and a Kennedy Center Honor.
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