B.B. King's 10 Greatest Songs - Rolling Stone
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B.B. King’s 10 Greatest Songs

In honor of the blues icon, the best songs from a career that spawned 75 R&B hits

B.B. King

NEW YORK - 1969 Blues legend B. B. King performs during a concert at Madison Square Garden in 1969 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Walter Iooss Jr./Getty Images)

Walter Iooss Jr/Getty

B.B. King was a lot more than a Gibson guitar and some killer licks. For decades, he was one of the biggest stars of black radio, releasing 75 hit R&B singles between 1951 and 1992. King carried the flag for Memphis blues his entire career, but he also paid attention to popular music as it evolved around him. His best records expanded what blues could be, drawing in the sounds of R&B, soul and funk. King's voice, and the lacerating solos he played on the guitars he named "Lucille," were constants, but everything around them changed. These 10 songs, all of them hits in their time, are a taste of the breadth of his art. (Also see King's five greatest live performances and our definitive 1998 profile, On the Bus With B.B. King.)

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