News broke Thursday of the passing of the "King of Blues," and fan reactions to B.B. King's death on Twitter show a community grieving the loss of one of the greatest guitarists of all time. According to The Associated Press, King died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Las Vegas at 9:40 p.m. local time. He was 89.
Reactions have ranged from shock to condolences to odes to his timeless songs. Of course, King is known for his unique guitar work and sound, which influenced the blues genre and countless musicians after him. But there's also something to be said about a man so dedicated to his craft and to his fans. King gave up to 300 concerts a year, even well into his 70s. In fact, he was consistently performing up until last October, when he was forced to cut a tour short after falling ill. King was in home hospice care since early this month, according to his website, where he thanked fans for their well wishes and prayers.
King, whose real name was Riley B. King, won 15 Grammy Awards throughout his career, which spanned more than six decades. He began recording his first songs in 1949. The huge outpour of affection for the blues musician is no surprise given how beloved King was worldwide.