B.B. King was buried yesterday in Indianola, Mississippi, near the place of his birth.
Over 700 people attended his funeral, many unable to fit into the Bell Grove Missionary Baptist Church. Mississippi Public Broadcasting screened the full event, available below.
US president Barack Obama sent a letter to be read out during the ceremony. He wrote: “No one worked harder than B.B. No one did more to spread the gospel of the blues. That thrill will be with us forever.”
Reverend Herron Wilson, who led the funeral, hailed King’s example to others trying to rise out of hardship, noting: “Hands that once picked cotton would someday pick guitar strings on a national and international stage.”
He was buried in the grounds of the B.B. King Museum And Delta Interpretive Centre.
Meanwhile, the bluesman’s son Willie has played down concerns surrounding the death.
Two of King’s daughters accused his manager and an assistant of poisoning him ahead of his passing last month at the age of 89. While police are investigating, the Las Vegas county coroner has said there are no immediate signs of foul play, and the manager’s lawyer has released a statement saying the accusations are groundless.
Willie King tells the Guardian: “Sometimes you can take hurt and turn it into something it should not be. I think that, out of the anger of losing their dad, they went to the extreme.
“My sisters are not like that – but sometimes you just don’t know how to express yourself. They attacked the wrong person.”