Brooklyn Bowl remembers the life of B.B. King with a free celebration

Brooklyn Bowl remembers the life of B.B. King with a free celebration
One of B.B. King’s last performances in Las Vegas was at the Big Blues Bender at the Riviera last September. (Erik Kabik)

Blues legend B.B. King died in Las Vegas on May 14 because of complications from diabetes, and now the family of the singer and guitarist plans to celebrate his life and his musical talent on Friday, May 22, with a free event at Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq.

Shirley King, the daughter of the late blues legend, hosts "Celebrating the Life and Musical Talent of The Legendary King of the Blues B.B. King." She plans to talk about her dad through his life and music. Expect live music, tributes to King and more.

King was the kind of artist who defined the blues for a generation. His career, which started in the 1940s, didn't stop until earlier this year when the 89-year-old decided rest was more important than trying to keep up with his 250-plus performances a year.

His style of playing on a Gibson ES-355 nicknamed Lucille made his strings bend into vocals and his left hand create that signature vibrato. His influence spanned artists such as Eric Clapton and George Harrison. And as King liked to say, "When I sing, I play in my mind; the minute I stop singing orally, I start to sing by playing Lucille."

NPR reports that King came up with the name after a fire broke out in a nightclub he was playing in Twist, Ark. Two men fighting knocked over a barrel of kerosene that was burning to keep the place warm. King ran back in the burning building to fetch his guitar. The next day, he discovered the two men were fighting over a woman named Lucille. "So I named my guitar Lucille and reminded me not to do a thing like that again."

King, member of the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is known for his classics including, “Payin’ The Cost To Be The Boss,” “The Thrill Is Gone,” “How Blue Can You Get,” “Everyday I Have The Blues” and “Why I Sing The Blues.”

The free event starts at 8 p.m.

Info: Brooklyn Bowl, (702) 862-2695