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Google Doodle celebrates B.B. King's 94th birthday

Monday's animated Doodle brings us on the blues legend's journey.

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Sean Keane
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Google Doodle went Riding with the King on Monday, celebrating blues musician B.B. King's 94th birthday with an animation tracing his steps from a Mississippi plantation to musical stardom. It's set to the tune of his 1970 rendition of The Thrill Is Gone.

Riley B. King, born Sept. 16, 1925, on a Mississippi Delta plantation, sang gospel music before moving to Memphis. Working at radio station WDIA, he was nicknamed "Beale Street Blues Boy," after the city's icon musical street. It was shortened to "Bee Bee," then "B.B."

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In 1949, King realized he'd left his $30 Gibson guitar in a burning nightclub -- caused by men fighting over a woman named Lucille -- and ran inside to save it. He named all his guitars Lucille from that day on, to remind him "never to do a thing like that again."

The blues man hit the big time when Three O'Clock Blues charted No. 1 in 1952. He opened for the Rolling Stones in 1969, and toured the US and later the world. His version of the song The Thrill Is Gone earned him a Grammy Award in 1970.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, collaborated with Eric Clapton and U2 and even convinced then-President Barack Obama to sing a few lines of Sweet Home Chicago during a 2012 performance at the White House.

King died May 14, 2015, aged 89, and his funeral procession traveled down Beale Street.

First published at 3:47 a.m. PT.
Updated at 4:22 a.m. PT: Adds more detail.

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