Blues Legend B.B. King "Feeling Better" After Hospital Stay in Las Vegas

10:26 AM EDT 4/12/2015 by Kara Michelle, Celebeat Reporter

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B.B. King (born Riley B. King), 89, the legendary blues musician, who was rushed to a Las Vegas hospital this past weekend for a diabetes-related emergency on Tuesday, via his website, said: "I want to thank everyone for their concern and good wishes. I'm feeling much better & am leaving the hospital today."

King's health emergency was the result of dehydration from his Type II diabetes, a condition that he has lived with for over 20 years and for which he is a high-profile spokesman in the fight to find a cure. Following treatment, his daughter Claudette later told the Los Angeles Times that he "is much better" now.

Ranked by Rolling Stone in 2011 as the No. 6 guitar player of all time, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer maintained an active performance schedule until he was forced to cancel his tour last October after falling ill following a show at Chicago's House of Blues. King who has spent more than 65 years on the road, still plays more than 100 shows annually.

In a tribute to "The King of Blues," ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons wrote: "B.B.'s influences were set at an early stage. Being from Indianola, Mississippi, he goes back far enough to remember the sound of field hollers and the cornerstone blues figures, like Charley Patton and Robert Johnson. There was a turning point, around the time of [1965's] Live at the Regal, when his sound took on a personality that is untampered with today - this roundish tone, where the front pickup is out of phase with the rear pickup. And B.B. still plays a Gibson amplifier that is long out of production. His sound comes from that combination. It's just B.B."

Over the years, King has developed one of the world's most identifiable guitar styles, mixing blues, jazz, swing, jump, and mainstream pop into a unique sound. "I think I've done the best I could have done," he said in a 2012 interview with the Guardian. "But I keep wanting to play better, go further. There are so many sounds I still want to make, so many things I haven't yet done. When I was younger I thought maybe I'd reached that peak. But I'm 86 now, and if I make it through to next month, I'll be 87. And now I know it can never be perfect, it can never be exactly what it should be, so you got to keep going further, getting better." King began his recording career in the 1940s. He has released more than 50 albums and has sold millions of records worldwide.

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