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Who Is BB King?

Riley B. King, popularly known as BB King was born on the 16th of September 1925 in the Mississippi Delta area, in the United States of America. He was born to sharecroppers Albert and Nora Ella. Although he was named after an uncle, his father call him BB, meaning ‘baby brother’, a joking reference to their eighteen year age gap. At the age of four, BB was sent to live with his grandmother when his Nora Ella left Albert for another man.

The legendary BB King, or the King of the Blues, is an immensely talented blues singer and guitarist. His numerous awards include seven Grammys and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Every guitar he has owned is named Lucille. In the 1940s, in a kerosene lit dance hall in Twist, Arkansas two men knocked over a barrel of lit kerosene during a fight. The resulting fire killed two people, but BB took a risk to save his guitar. Later BB found out that the two men had been fighting over a woman named Lucille. From then on he named his guitars Lucille to remind him never to risk his life in such a manner again.

His interest in music began when he attended church with his grandmother and mother the preacher taught him to play the guitar. When his mother and grandmother died, BB lived with his father working on farms. He later lived with the Flake-Cartledges, a white family who helped him buy his first guitar. Although BB King married twice, he fathered 15 children with different women out of wedlock.

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