“The ambassador of the blues:” Remembering legendary bluesman B.B. King

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Legendary guitarist B.B. King is being remembered around the world today, including here in Milwaukee.

Often referred to as the King of Blues, he passed away Thursday night, May 14th at the age of 89.

"My name is Sonia and right now I'm going to honor B.B. King who devoted more than 60 years of his life to playing the blues for everyone in the world," said Sonia Khatchedourian, WMSE radio personality.

Sonia Khatchadourian of WMSE's "The Blues Drives with Sonia" once interviews blues legend B.B. King on her show.

"He was very forthcoming about the life that he had when he was younger and what it was like when he started out," said Sonia.

Sonia, who also taught a UWM continuing education class on B.B. King, enjoyed his string bending style -- and the fact that he was a bluesman with horns instead of a harmonica.

"No matter what he experienced in life because he experienced health problems, financial problems, all sorts of hardships. He never let that interfere with entertaining people," said Sonia.

King was known to play over 300 one night stands a year and he released more than 50 albums with hit songs, including "The Thrill is Gone" and "Let the Good Time Roll."

But Sonia says he was much more than the king of blues.

"I've always called him the ambassador of the blues because he single-handedly spread blues music throughout the world long before anyone else did," said Sonia.

It's hard to imagine blues without B.B. King, but we still have his music.

"He will be missed. I'll miss him," Sonia said.

King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He played in Milwaukee numerous times, including Summerfest and the Riverside Theater. King received many awards, worked with a lot of artists -- and as Sonia said, he will be missed.