Born Riley b. King on September 16, 1925, in Itta Bena, Mississippi, he chooses to cotton in his youth. In the 1940s, he played in the streets of Indianola before moving on to play professionally in Memphis around 1949. A young musician, he studied recordings of blues and jazz guitarists, including T-Bone Walker, Charlie Christian, and Django Reinhardt.
In the early fifty King was a disc jockey on black Memphis WDIA station, where he has been dubbed the "Beale Street Blues Boy". Finally, Blues Boy was shortened to B.B., and the nickname stuck. The radio show and the performances in Memphis with his friends Johnny Ace and Bobby "blue" Bland built King of the strong local reputation. One of his first recordings, "Three hours Blues" (number one R & B), for the RPM label, was a national success in 1951. During the 1950s, the King was a seller and consistent record concert attraction.
Live from the King at the Regal, 1965 is considered one of the definitive blues albums. The revival of the mid-1960s blues presented his white audience, and in 1966 he regularly appearing on rock concert circuits and receive airplay on progressive rock radio. He continues to have some hits in the classification of the soul ("Pay to be the boss," number ten R & B, 1968) and always maintained a solid black following. Live and was a remarkable album, featuring "why I Sing the Blues" (number 13 R & B, 1969) and only pop Top 20 of the single King, "the thrill is Gone" (number 15 pop, number three R & B, 1970).
In the King of the years seventy has also recorded albums with a longtime friend and one-time driver Bobby Bland: gold for the first time...Live (1974) and together once more...Live (1976). Stevie Wonder produced the King "To Know You is to Love You". In 1982, King recorded a live album with the Crusaders.
Guided tours of the King took him to the Russia (1979), South America (1980) and dozens of prisons. In 1981 there must be a better world somewhere won a Grammy Award; He won another in 1990 for Live at San Quentin. He was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. In 1990, he received the Songwriters Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award. In May 1991, B.B. King Blues Club opened in Memphis. (Second once open in New York in 2000).
In 1989, he sang and played with U2 on "When Love Comes to Town," their rattle and Hum. The box of four discs published the same year, King of the Blues, begins with King's career-starting single "Miss Martha King," published on the ball in 1949. Blues Summit, in 1993, King was joined by colleagues bluesmen such as John Lee Hooker, Lowell Fulson and Robert Cray.
King said he aspires to be an "Ambassador of the blues", and by the 1990s, it seemed to have reached iconic status only. In 1995, he received the Kennedy Center Honors. The following year saw the publication of his award-winning autobiography, Blues All Around Me (coecrit with David Ritz).
In 2000, the double platinum disc Riding With the King (with Eric Clapton) topped the Billboard Top Blues Albums. King continued to record, perform and win top honors in the first decade of the 2000s. George w. Bush received King the Presidential Medal of freedom in 2006. Two years later, he released one of the most acclaimed albums studio of his career, return to sources One Kind Favor, produced by T Bone Burnett and featuring King doing version lean Classic Clean blues as "See of Blind Lemon Jefferson that my grave is preserved."