Google celebrated the birth anniversary of the legendary singer BB King, the iconic “King of Blues” through its Monday Doodle. The Doodle shows the singer holding a guitar along with a vibrant animated video coupled with one of his soulful tracks.
BB king or Riley B King, a sharecropper’s son was born in Mississippi in 1925, was raised singing gospel music in church. Before becoming the singing sensation, he performed on street corners before hitchhiking to Memphis and landing a job on the air at radio station WDIA. Locals were so fond of him that they named him “Beale Street Blues Boy,” later shortened to “Bee Bee” that finally turned into “B.B.”. He recorded his first hit, Three O’Clock Blues in 1949, his first step towards a glorious career.
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 various prestigious locations including the White House. King was popularly known to perform tirelessly, without halts throughout his musical career. Performing on more than 200 concerts per year in his 70’s. In 1956 alone, he reportedly performed at 342 shows.
Remembering the incident when BB king risked his own life and ran inside a burning nightclub to save a guitar, Google wrote a note in the honor of the lost artist, “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 due to a brief illness.
Many evolving singers got inspired by King’s legendary career and his passion for music, often imitated but never duplicated. He became the blueprint for many of the world’s greatest musicians and rock bands. “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