Remember When Keith Urban and B.B. King Led an All-Star Jam? [Watch]
A few country stars had a chance to jam with B.B. King over the years, but none got the opportunity Keith Urban had in 2009. The country picker and the blues great led an all-star jam at the Grammys that year. King died at the age of 89 on Thursday night (May 14).
Urban, King, bluesman Buddy Guy and John Mayer performed "Bo Diddley" at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards. The then-83-year-old leads off this clip, with Mayer singing the next couplet. Then, it's Urban's turn. He smiles as he sings at King riffing on Lucille, his signature guitar. It's as sound as iconic as any in music, as pure and simple as a bar of Ivory.
Guy jams along before his own blistering solo. If you love great guitar playing, this February 2009 performance was your heaven. At only two minutes long, the moment is over before you know it. Urban and the band finish with a flourish before the Staples Center crowd erupts.
King’s death was not a surprise, as his health had been failing in recent years. In April he was hospitalized with dehydration, and news slowly began to leak that his playing days were coming to an end. He was one of the blues' first great showmen. Few have enjoyed the commercial success King had during a long (nearly 60-year!) career. Television commercials and restaurants were part of his empire. The music was always paramount, however. A few of his well known hits include “Why I Sing the Blues,” “Sweet Sixteen” and “The Thrill Is Gone.”
Today, the the thrill is truly gone for several generations of music lovers. Here are some of the best tweets from country musicians: