His daughter, Patty King, confirmed the news to CNN. King had entered into home hospice care two weeks earlier after suffering from reported dehydration and diabetes. He had be in debilitating health for the past year, and collapsed during a concert last October.
Born Riley B. King on a cotton plantation in Mississippi, he would go on to have a celebrated 70-year career that includes 15 Grammys and being an influential force in the making of guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.
Indeed, King was perhaps most revered for his intimate, chilling guitar playing. He famously called his Gibson guitars Lucille, named after a woman he never met, but risked his life for: At a concert in Twist, Ark., in the early 1950s, two men fighting over a woman (Lucille) knocked over a kerosene stove and set the venue on fire. King risked his life to run back into the club and save his $30 Gibson.
King was regarded as the “undisputed” King of the Blues. “People all over the world have problems,” he said in the book Off the Record: An Oral History of Popular Music (1988). “And as long as people have problems, the blues can never die.”