Blues musician BB King dies aged 89

The guitarist passed away in Las Vegas on Thursday (May 14) following recent ill health

Blues guitarist BB King has passed away.

The musician, who had been recording music and performing live since the late 1940s, died in his sleep in Las Vegas on Thursday (May 14), aged 89, BBC News reports.

The Mississippi-born musician, best known for his hits ‘Lucille’, ‘Sweet Black Angel’ and ‘Rock Me Baby’, had worked with Eric Clapton and U2. He was awarded 15 Grammies during his lifetime. King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

BB King suffered ill health in recent times and was receiving “home hospice care” following his recent hospitalisation. The guitarist and singer was rushed to a hospital in Las Vegas in April, with the reason cited as “the result of dehydration from his Type II diabetes”.

Last year, King was forced to cancel a number of performances after suffering a fall onstage at a show. King pulled out of eight gigs in total during October 2014, including two dates at his own BB King Blues Club in Times Square, New York. The causes were cited at the time as “dehydration” and “exhaustion”.

In April 2014, the guitarist issued an apology for an erratic performance at the Peabody Opera House in St Louis, which was attributed to a missed a dose of his prescribed medication. “Simply put, it was a bad night for one of America’s living blues legends and Mr King apologises and humbly asks for the understanding of his fans,” wrote a representative of King in a statement.