After an incredibly long and unbelievably stratospheric career, the King of the blues, B.B. King has died at 89. King was the magnificent state of Mississippi’s eternally humble offering of the most honest American dream. In his blues, the entire world was able to see itself.
B.B. King was the human embodiment of the blues. He was our friend, our lover; what we needed when we were sad and what we felt when we were happy. He loved us, and we loved him.
The King of the Blues was the very embodiment of America’s tipping point away from racism and disenfranchisement to a better world, one with music and laughter and love. He was transcendence, escaping a dirt poor Mississippi hell to proudly return its most beloved son; the very icon of change, the American definition of true, honest success.
The world was a better place when B.B. King was in it, when he delicately and in four chords assured us that in this cruel and ever-changing culture, we are all, in fact, still human, still capable of heartbreak, of love and, yeah, of shaking a little damn booty.
B.B. King taught us to love one another. B.B. King reminded us that we can all hurt when we’re sad; that just below the surface, we’re all human beings, that we all feel joy and pain and love, and he did it all with the music that he called the blues.
The King of the Blues may be gone, but his spirit will never stop beating with the very heartbeat of the American experiment. B.B. King was and forever will be the cultural icon of America.