BB King (full name – Riley B. King), an American blues guitarist and composer, was born in Itta Bena, Mississippi, on September 16, 1925.

Riley's childhood was not a bed of roses. When he was 4, his parents divorced and the boy stayed with his mother and granny. His mother had a good ear for music and sang in a Baptist church chorus. When the future musician got a bit older he had to work on a cotton plantation to earn his living.

At the age of 13 Riley bought a guitar at several dollars' price because he wanted to copy his idols – Big Bill Broonzy and Lonnie Johnson.

During the Second World War Riley served in the army and after being demobilized returned back to hard work in the cotton field. At the weekends, he traveled to neighboring cities and played blues on the streets.

1948 was a lucky year for Riley since he had a chance to play on the radio in Memphis. 1951 was another significant checkpoint of the guitarist's life when he wrote one of his most famous hits – "Three O'Clock Blues". Three years later in 1956 Riley was so immensely popular across the country that he gave 342 concerts within this year.

As to the stage name "BB King" the story is as follows: like any other musician he needed an imposing and vivid name and at first friends and fans called him Blues Boy King, which eventually transformed into BB.

On the 15th of May, 2015 the great blues guitarist and composer died in Las Vegas. He was 90.