BB King Google Doodle: In its Doodle Monday, Google marked the birth anniversary of late singer BB King — the iconic “King of the Blues”. The depiction featured a vibrant animated video coupled with soulful track and showed the iconic singer holding a guitar.
Born in 1925 in Mississippi, Riley B King was a sharecropper’s son. Raised singing gospel music in church, King performed on street corners before hitchhiking to Memphis and landing a job on the air at radio station WDIA. There, locals began calling him “Beale Street Blues Boy,” later shortened to “Bee Bee” and finally “B.B.” He began recording in 1949 and never looked back after his first hit, “Three O’Clock Blues.”
King opened for the Rolling Stones on tour and became the first internationally acclaimed blues artist, winning 15 Grammys, being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, receiving honorary doctorates from assorted universities, and performing at the White House. King was known for performing tirelessly throughout his musical career, appearing on average at more than 200 concerts per year into his 70s. In 1956 alone, he reportedly appeared at 342 shows
Remembering his penchant for music, Google in its note wrote about an incident when King risked his own life and ran inside a burning nightclub to save a guitar. “When I sing, I play in my mind,” he once said. “The minute I stop singing orally, I start to sing by playing Lucille.”
King died in 2014 following a brief illness.
Often imitated but never duplicated, King became a blueprint for many of the world’s biggest rock stars who followed. “I wish I could just do like BB King,” said John Lennon of The Beatles. “If you would put me with BB King, I would feel real silly.”
The Doodle has been illustrated by Little Rock-based guest artist Steve Spencer and animated by Brooklyn-based guest animator Nayeli Lavanderos