Local musician reflects on the legacy of BB King
BATON ROUGE - Music lovers everywhere are mourning the passing of blues legend B. B. King, who died at age 89 according to his representative.
New Orleans blues musician Kenny Neal spoke to News 2 about the influence King had on his life and career. Neal met King when he opened for him during a tour in Japan.
"I was just excited," Neal said, "It was just a pleasure to meet the guy I grew up listening to all my life, and then get the chance to know him... the rest of his life."
Neal said King encouraged him to avoid playing covers and stick with his own music, then asked him to play on stage with him that night.
"I nearly fell out the chair," Neal said.
B.B. King's attorney Brent Bryson said King died peacefully in his sleep at Thursday night at his home in Las Vegas. King grew up a farmhand in Mississippi before his music drew in new generations of blues fans through songs like "The Thrill Is Gone."
Best known for his iconic Gibson guitar, named "Lucille," King was the master of his craft and mentor to other guitar legends such as Eric Clapton. King received his 15th Grammy in 2009 in the traditional blues album category for "One Kind Favor."
Neal posted a musical tribute to King back in February, which you can listen to here.