B.B. King Suffering Dehydration Due to Diabetes

Courtesy of AP
Courtesy of AP

Legendary blues musician, B.B. King, was rushed to a Las Vegas hospital near his home over the weekend. While the hospital could release no official diagnosis, King’s daughter told the Times that he had been hospitalized due to dehydration from type II diabetes. The eighty-nine year old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is said to be doing “much better.”

King has been hospitalized several times due his diabetes, the most recent was last October, where King was forced to cancel a House of Blues show as well as his remaining tour dates due to dehydration and exhaustion. In 2007, he was admitted to the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, canceling eight gigs, due to “the residue from a bout with the flu and… low-grade fever,” representative Tina France stated.

King, who began touring more than sixty-five years ago, has played over ten thousand shows, playing over three hundred shows a year, until he was forced to slowly cut back due to age. In an interview with Rolling Stone, King said, “I’m slower. As you get older, your fingers sometimes swell. Now you understand what I’m trying to say? So that do happen sometimes, but I’ve never missed a job from having this happened and I’ve never missed…let’s see…I’ve missed 18 days in 65 years. Sometimes guys will just take off; I’ve never done that. If I’m booked to play, I go and play.” Despite having to cut back, King still plays more than one hundred shows annually. “The crowds treat me like my last name. When I go onstage people usually stand up, I never ask them to, but they do. They stand up and they don’t know how much I appreciate it.”

King has earned more than twelve Grammy awards (including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award and a Grammy Hall of Fame award), and since his career start in 1948, he has made over forty studio albums. King “introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that would influence virtually every electric blues guitarist that followed,” and that style has earned him numerous honors, including an honorary Doctor of Music by Yale University in 1977.

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