Blues legend B.B. King dies at 89

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Guitarist B.B. King, who took the blues from rural juke joints to the mainstream and influenced a generation of rock guitarists from Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughan, has died, the Los Angeles Times reported late on Thursday. He was 89.

King, who will forever be linked with the Gibson guitars he named Lucille, died in Las Vegas, the newspaper quoted his attorney as saying.

Reuters could not immediately verify the report.

King was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in the 1980s. He was hospitalized in April for a few days after suffering from dehydration related to the disease. In May he said in aFacebook post that he was in hospice care at his home.

King had a deep, resonant singing voice and, despite having what he called "stupid fingers," an immediately recognizable guitar sound.

His unique style of trilling the strings with a fluttering left-hand vibrato, which he called it "the butterfly," helped shape early rock. He delivered stinging single-note licks that brimmed with emotion and were copied by white rock guitarists including Jeff Beck and Bonnie Raitt.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; editing by John Stonestreet)

BB King's Life in the Blues

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