Sunday, May 26, 2024

The Legend is Gone: B. B. King Dies at Age 89


B. B. King died late last night in Las Vegas. He was 89. He won 15 Grammy Awards. But more importantly, he left an incredible legacy and a canon of work that will continue to influence musicians for ages. I had a great moment once with BB, on the stage at Radio City Music Hall. There was a break during the taping of Martin Scorsese’s blues documentary. I was talking to Bonnie Raitt, and BB, who did not know who I was from a hole in the wall, motioned for me to get Bonnie’s attention. She came over, and he said, “I just want you know you’re the best slide guitarist I’ve ever heard.” Wow. Bonnie was startled and grateful. The King had bestowed this honor on her. And he was happy to do it. Now that BB is dead, let’s just sit back and remember his incredible gift.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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