Statement by the President on the Passing of B.B. King

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 5/18/2015, 9:56 a.m.
The blues has lost its king, and America has lost a legend. B.B. King was born a sharecropper’s son in ...
B.B. King and President Obama sing duet
YouTube

President Obama Sings "Sweet Home Chicago"

At the In Performance at the White House: Red, White & Blues event, President Barack Obama sings Sweet Home Chicago.

The blues has lost its king, and America has lost a legend. B.B. King was born a sharecropper’s son in Mississippi, came of age in Memphis, Tennessee, and became the ambassador who brought his all-American music to his country and the world. No one worked harder than B.B. No one inspired more up-and-coming artists. No one did more to spread the gospel of the blues.

Three years ago, Michelle and I hosted a blues concert at the White House. I hadn’t expected that I’d be talked into singing a few lines of “Sweet Home Chicago” with B.B. by the end of the night, but that was the kind of effect his music had, and still does. He gets stuck in your head, he gets you moving, he gets you doing the things you probably shouldn’t do – but will always be glad you did. B.B. may be gone, but that thrill will be with us forever. And there’s going to be one killer blues session in heaven tonight.

For more information, visit whitehouse.gov