BB King sadly passed away after battling diabetes-related illness.
Ranked the third-greatest guitarist of all time, King has been described by critics as "synonymous with the blues".
From how he learned guitar and the tragedies he overcame, to the extent of his staggering success, here's what you need to know.
As a disc jockey on a Memphis, Tennessee, radio station, Riley B. King became known as "The Beale Street Blues Boy," which was shortened to "Blues Boy" and eventually to "B.B."
King was playing a dance in Twist, Arkansas, when two men began fighting over a woman and accidentally set the dance hall ablaze. King had to dash back in to save his guitar, which he began calling Lucille, the name of the woman who inspired the fight.
King's primary guitar teacher was his cousin, bluesman Bukka White.
BB King: Career in pictures
BB King: Career in pictures
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BB King gestures during his first performance at the Marciac Jazz festival, southwestern France, 1997
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B.B. King performs for hundreds at The Moore Theatre in Seattle, 2014
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BB King arrives on stage to perform US President Barack Obama lit the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse in Washington, 2010
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(L-R) Musicians The Edge, B.B. King, and Bono perform onstage during the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz honoring B.B. King event held at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, 2008
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B.B. King performs at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center, in Salisbury, 2007
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B.B. King signs copies of his new book 'The B.B. King Treasures' at Barnes & Noble in New York City, 2005
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(L-R) B.B. King, Sam Haskell and Mary Haskell blow out candles on King's 80th birthday cake at the home of Sam and Mary Haskell in Encino, California, 2005 Funds raised from the event went towards the forthcoming B.B. King Museum in Indianola, Mississippi
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B.B. King (C), Steve Tyler (L) and Joe Perry (R) laugh as they present the Grammy for Best Rap Album during the 46th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, 2004
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BB King and Samuel L. Jackson at the 'Carousel of Hope Ball 2002' to benefit childhood diabetes, hosted by Barbara and Marvin Davis, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, 2002
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B.B. King poses with his Grammy Awards at the 43rd Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, 2001. King won for Best Traditional Blues Album, 'Riding with the King', and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for the album entitled 'Is You Is, Or Is You Ain't'
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US President George Bush (R) and First Lady Barbara Bush (C) present the National Medal of Arts to blues musician B.B. King at the white House, 1990
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B.B. King performs at the Nice Jazz Festiva, 1985
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B.B. King and an accompanist perform during the opening of the 1980 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
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B B King pewrforms on stage at an outdoor concert, 1979
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Portrait of the legendary blues singer, songwriter and guitarist B B King, second cousin of Bukka White, 1969
In 2003 Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time ranked King as No. 3, behind only Jimi Hendrix and Duane Allman.
In 1956 King and his band performed 342 one-night stands.
King greatly expanded his fan base to jazz, folk and rock audiences in 1967, playing at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Newport Folk Festival and the Fillmore West in San Francisco.
King's 10,000th show came on April 17, 2006, at his namesake nightclub in New York. He performed despite having buried his son, who died of cancer, the day before.
King appeared on the television shows Sanford and Son, The Young and the Restless, The Cosby Show, Married ... With Children, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Sesame Street.
Additional reporting by ReutersReuse content