King passed away in his sleep on Thursday (May 14), after suffering a series of small strokes related to his type 2 diabetes.
U2 had previously stopped playing their BB King collaboration ‘When Love Comes To Town’ in 1993, with King himself occasionally performing the track live. Bono and co thought it a fitting tribute to play the song for the first time in 22 years. The track originally featured on U2’s 1988 album ‘Rattle And Hum’.
Before the performance, Bono said “Let the world get to say goodbye to the great BB King. He was very special.” Watch fan-shot footage below.
Bono and The Edge had previously joined King to play the song for at Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz ceremony in October 2008.
King, who had been recording music and performing live since the late 1940s, died aged 89. The Mississippi-born musician, best known for his hits ‘Lucille’, ‘Sweet Black Angel’ and ‘Rock Me Baby’, had worked with various artists including Eric Clapton.
Among those paying tribute to King has included former Beatle Ringo Starr, hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, rapper Chuck D, Kiss’ Gene Simmons, Diplo, Cat Power, Slash, Edwyn Collins, Lenny Kravitz, Pulled Apart By Horses and more. Non-musicians that have paid their respects include President Barack Obama, Samuel L Jackson, Hugh Laurie and Lenny Henry.
King was awarded 15 Grammies during his lifetime. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
Meanwhile, U2 kicked off their world tour in Vancouver on Thursday (May 14). The show saw guitarist The Edge falling off the edge of the stage during their final song ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’.