Blues great B.B. King was laid to rest this weekend in Indianola, Mississippi, the small town where he was first discovered as a young singer and musician. His funeral service was made available via live stream; as well as attended by friends, family and even many fans, reports WPTV.
According to The Guardian, King was remembered on Friday (May 29) in the Mississippi Delta where more than 4,000 fans lined up to pay their respects at a public viewing of his casket. During his funeral, held Saturday, his sons spoke of his treamendous impact on both music and their own lives. One of his sons, Willie King of Chicago, shared a story of how his legendary father taught him to respond with love when others are angry.
Though they were not present at the services, Stevie Wonder, President Barack Obama and Bill Clinton all sent in tributes to King. "He will forever be the king of the blues," Wonder said in a audio recording that was played at the funeral. "The blues has lost its king and America has lost a legend," Obama wrote in a letter that was read aloud. "No one worked harder than B.B. No one did more to spread the gospel of the blues."
Clinton, meanwhile, joked, "I was his backup sax man" in his own letter of tribute.
Mike Doster of Nashville, who played bass in King's band for 17 years, described his music mentor as a good boss who was "very demanding but very fair." Country singer Marty Stuart poetically added, "As a fellow Mississippian, I'm so proud to stand in his shadow as I walk across the world."
King died on May 14 at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was 89.
Watch the service courtesty of Mississippi Public Broadcasting here, and BET.com's tribute to B.B. King in the video below.
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