BB King leaves behind his one true love - Lucille

2015-05-15 12:31

New York - Blues legend BB King left behind a giant musical legacy and a disputed number of children, but he often said his true love was Lucille - his guitar.

Often considered one of history's greatest guitarists, King died late on Thursday in Las Vegas at age 89 less than a year after the consummate showman finally ended his rigorous touring schedule.

Throughout his travels he was accompanied by his Gibson ES-355, which he would joke to audiences was his "woman", who stood beside him for longer than any person.

Customised by Gibson as part of a longstanding partnership with King, Lucille is distinctive for its semi-hollow body without any sound-holes.

Lucille also has a tailpiece that allowed King to tune the strings at a finer level.

King said that the name came when he was in Arkansas and two men were fighting over a woman named Lucille.

The dispute escalated and a house was set on fire, with King rushing in and nearly burning to death to save his beloved guitar.

King would often speak of Lucille as if the guitar were a person, crediting the instrument with helping him move out of his impoverished childhood picking cotton in Mississippi.

(Photo: AP)

He wrote a song about the guitar with the lines: "The sound that you're listening to / Is from my guitar that's named Lucille.

"I'm very crazy about Lucille / Lucille took me from the plantation / Or you might say brought me fame."

Despite the lore, Lucille was not a single guitar as Gibson eventually produced a number of Lucilles for King.

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