Long lines likely for Las Vegas public viewing of B.B. King

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
B.B. King Fans Remember the Late Guitar Player


LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Fans in Las Vegas are expected to line up for hours to view the body of blues legend B.B. King, and later to celebrate his legacy at a musical tribute organized by his daughter.

The viewing Friday begins a weeklong series of memorials for King, who died May 14 in Las Vegas at the age of 89. A musical tribute at a rock `n' roll venue on the Las Vegas Strip is planned for Friday night, and a procession next Wednesday will mark the King of the Blues' return to Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee, before a final road trip to Indianola, Mississippi, and burial May 30.

Five of B.B. King's adult children visited the blues great one last time on Thursday in private at a Las Vegas funeral home.

46 PHOTOS
bb king dead at 89 - b.b. king
See Gallery
Long lines likely for Las Vegas public viewing of B.B. King
BB King performs at Club Nokia on November 11, 2011 in Los Angeles (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)
B.B. King performs in concert at the Tennessee Theater, Tuesday, May 27, 2014 in Knoxville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP Images)
B. B. King responds to cheers from the crowd after he was given the keys to the city of Manchester, Tenn., during his performance at the Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester on Saturday, June 14, 2008. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Blues music legend BB King performs on Frampton’s Guitar Circus 2013 Tour at Pier Six Pavilion on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, in Baltimore. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)
Bluesman extraordinaire, B.B. King, is set for a concert, Wednesday, December 7 in UCLA’s Royce Hall at 8:30 p.m. (AP Photo)
US Blues legend B.B. King performs on the Stravinski Hall stage during the 43rd Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, late Sunday, July 12, 2009. (KAP Photo/KeystoneLaurent Gillieron)
In a Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009, photo, B.B. King poses backstage with his award for Best Traditional Blues Album for "One Kind Favor" at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Indianola, Miss. favorite son B.B. King's global popularity is packing 'em in at the B.B. King Blues Museum. A year after its opening, the museum and associated Delta Interpretative Center has drawn about 30,000 visitors, boosting tax collections in the Mississippi Delta town where the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/guitarist once made his living on a cotton plantation. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
B.B. King passes a guitar pick to an audience member at Club Nokia on Saturday, Dec. 27, 2008 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Shea Walsh)
John Mayer, left, shakes hands with B.B. King after performing at "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live" in Los Angeles on Wednesday Dec. 3, 2008. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Blues guitarist B.B. King at a Hollywood party, August 28, 1978 in Los Angeles. B.B.’s real name is Riley B. King. He became known as B.B. from a shortening of his nickname “Blues Boy.” King was played the blues for more than 30 years. (AP Photo/Huynh)
B.B. King pauses during a media tour of the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008, in Indianola, Miss. More than a half-century after King left Indianola in search of fame, the $15 million B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretative Center has opened in his hometown and is as much a tribute to him and his blues music as the culture that inspired it. (AP Photo/Matthew S. Gunby)
B.B. King greets a crowd of media and fans before answering questions during a media tour of the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008 in Indianola, Miss. More than a half-century after King left Indianola in search of fame, the $15 million B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretative Center has opened in his hometown and is as much a tribute to him and his blues music as the culture that inspired it. (AP Photo/Matthew S. Gunby)
Musician B.B. King performs at the opening night of the 87th season of the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Friday, June 20, 2008. King was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)
Blues legend B.B. King is shown during an interview in Los Angeles Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
B.B. King performs at the JVC Jazz Festival, Sunday, August 12, 2007, in Newport, R.I. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)
B.B. King performs at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago, Saturday, July 28, 2007. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Guitarist B.B. King left, and an accompanist entertain Saturday, April 21, 1980 crowds at the opening of the 1980 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (AP Photo)
B.B. King talks to the media and a gathering of fans at the Hard Rock Cafe Tuesday, July 24,2007 as he launches his "2007 Blues Festival" tour at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla.(AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)
**ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND MARCH 31-APRIL 1 ** Blues legend B.B. King is shown on June 10, 2006, in his tour bus, alongside his trusty laptop computer in Philadelphia, Miss. While the laptop will never take the place of his guitar Lucille, King uses the computer to play a few hands of solitaire or other similar card games to relax and stay mentally sharp. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Blues musician B.B. King played to a packed auditorium of residents and press at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Norfolk, Mass., Monday, April 3, 1978. King has been playing to prison crowds since 1972 when he and Boston attorney F. Lee Bailey formed the Foundation for the Advancement of Inmate Rehabilitation and Recreation, an inmate services organization. (AP Photo)
Blues musician B.B. King, left, James Cotton, center, and Muddy Waters perform together at radio city music hall in New York on Friday, June 29, 1979. The three bluesmen got together at the Newport Jazz Festival concert that was billed as a “tribute to Muddy Waters”. (AP Photo/Perez)
B.B. King sings to the graduates of Brown University after receiving an honorary Doctor of Music degree during Brown University's 239th Commencement in Providence, R.I., Sunday, May 27, 2007. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)
Legendary american bluesman B.B. King performs on a Montreux Jazz boat, during the cruise "Missippi Blues Boat celebrating B.B. King" across lake Leman, at the 40th Montreux Jazz Festival at of Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday July 2, 2006. (AP Photo/KEYSTONE/POOL/Martial Trezzini)
Blues great B.B. King performs for President Bush during a celebration of Black Music Month in the East Room of the White House in Washington Monday, June 26, 2006. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Legendary bluesman B.B. King, photographed during a June 10, 2006 concert in Philadelphia, Miss., is embarking on a 16-city summer blues festival tour beginning July 24, 2007.(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Legendary US-american bluesman B.B. King performs on the Auditorium Stravinski Hall stage during the 39th Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, late Monday, July 4, 2005. The festival will last until July 16. (AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini)
Legendary U.S. bluesman B. B. King performs during the Live at Sunset Festival, in Zurich, Switzerland, Monday, July 19, 2004. (AP Photo/Keystone, Dorothea Mueller)
Close-up of Blues guitarist B.B. King in 1987. (AP Photo)
Blues musician B.B. King wipes his eyes as he performs during the funeral for music legend Ray Charles at the First AME Church in Los Angeles, Friday, June 18, 2004. Charles died last week at 73. (AP Photo/Genaro Molina, Pool)
American blues legend B.B. King performs Monday, July 22, 2002 in Lucerne, Switzerland, at the Blue Balls Festival. (AP Photo/Keystone/Urs Flueeler)
A group of prisoners at the Dade County stockade listen to B.B. King entertained them outside their cells, Sept. 23, 1971 in Miami, Fla. King said he first sang to prisoners at the Cook County jail in Chicago and plans about a dozen more such performances. (AP Photo)
Blues legend B.B.King poses next to a statue dedicated to him in Montreux, Switzerland, Friday, July 5, 2002, shortly before the opening of the 36th Montreux Jazz Festival. The festival will last until July 20. (AP Photo/KEYSTONE/Martial Trezzini)
US. Jazz guitarist B.B. King sings during his performance on stage in the Stravinski hall during the 34th Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, Wednesday night, July 12, 2000. The festival will last until July 22nd. (AP Photo/Martial Trezzini)
Blues legend B.B. King performs at the Cirkus scene of Skansen outdoor museum in Stockholm, Sweden, Monday March 10 1997. Seventytwo-year old BB King still plays his guitar "Lucille" which he uses since the early fifties. (AP photo/Jack Mikrut)
Musician B.B. King performing, July 20, 1978. (AP Photo)
U.S. bluesman B.B. King during his performance at the 'Blues Night' of the 31st Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland, Tuesday night, July 8, 1997. (AP Photo/Keystone/Patrick Aviolat)
Billy Idol, left, and B.B. King introduce the winners of the Best Hard Rock category, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, during the 35th annual Grammy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 1993. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Blues great B.B. King reacts to applause during an all-star jam press conference at New York’s Downtime, Monday, June 22, 1992 in New York. King, together with Buddy Guy, Dr. John and the Fabulous Thunderbirds announced Blues Music Festival ’92, a 25-city U.S. tour this summer that will include a food drive in each city. King said “No one should go to bed hungry.” (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Blues legend John Lee Hooker, left, celebrates his birthday and receives greetings from fellow bluesman B.B. King at a party in New York Tuesday, August 21, 1991. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
B.B. King live in concert at The Kool Jazz Festival in New York, NY on July 2, 1983. (AP Photo/Carlos Rene Perez)
FILE - In this Jan. 15, 1992, file photo, Bobby "Blue" Bland, left, receives his award for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame from B.B. King during induction ceremonies in New York. Bland's son Rodd said his father died Sunday, June 23, 2013, at his Memphis home surrounded by relatives. He was 83. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Republican National Chairman Lee Atwater gets down to some sounds as he performs with legendary blues guitarist B.B. King during a Republican party gala at the Kennedy Center in Washington, Jan. 29, 1990. The black-tie affair, which was attended by President and Mrs. Bush and other GOP leaders, celebrated the first anniversary of the Bush administration. (AP Photo/Marcy Nighswander)
Close-up of Blues guitarist B.B. King in 1987. (AP Photo)
Jazz guitarist B.B. King performs before an enthusiastic audience, Friday, June 28, 1986 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York. In addition to playing the guitar, King Sang, most often meandering blues like “Ain’t Nobody Home.” (AP Photo/Rick Maiman)
Musician B.B. King was a presenter at the Grammy Awards, Feb. 21, 1990. (AP Photo/Pizac)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Family members and King's longtime business agent were embroiled in a spat over the care and estate before he died, and the fight is expected to continue.

Daughters Karen Williams and Patty King accused King's longtime business agent, LaVerne Toney, of keeping them from seeing their father for a week after he died - and of preventing them from taking photos of him in his casket.

"A picture paints 1,000 words," Patty King said as she showed cellphone images of the same family group with their father at his birthday in September. "He loved his children."

The five family members refer to themselves as a family board. B.B. King is survived by eleven of his 15 children.

Toney, who worked for King for 39 years, has power-of-attorney over his affairs and estate despite several court challenges by Williams and Patty King.

Toney told The Associated Press she's doing what B.B. King said he wanted.

"They want to do what they want to do, which is take over, I guess," Toney said of the family group. "But that wasn't Mr. King's wishes. Mr. King would be appalled."

B.B. King's will, dated Jan. 18, 2007, and filed Wednesday under his birth name, Riley B. King, appoints Toney as sole executor of his affairs. Toney is banning the media and photographs of any kind during the public viewing from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Palm Mortuary on South Jones Boulevard, about three miles west of the Las Vegas Strip.

Funeral director Matt Phillips said viewers will be able to file past the open casket and security officials will prevent photos. The media won't be allowed inside.

King's eldest daughter, Shirley King has booked a Las Vegas Strip venue for what she said will be a free musical tribute event starting an hour after the public viewing ends.

"I don't want to be part of the argument over his life," said Shirley King, who lives in Chicago and performs as Daughter of the Blues.

She's planning for live music and remembrances at the Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas at the Linq promenade starting at 8 p.m. Friday.

"I don't want to fight with family. I don't want to fight with management," she said. "When everybody gets through being sad about him leaving, I want them to come out and let the good times roll and be happy about his life."

Read Full Story

From Our Partners