Obama on B.B. King: 'The Blues has lost its king'

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Barack Obama paid warm tribute Friday to B.B. King, the legendary bluesman who once visited the White House and convinced the President to sing Sweet Home Chicago with him.

“The blues has lost its king, and America has lost a legend,” Obama said.

“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.”

Earlier, King’s daughter Patty had revealed that the 89-year-old, a major force in the direction of 20th century music, had died late Thursday at his home in Las Vegas.

Tributes poured in from around the music world and beyond, including from his most famous fan.

“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,” Obama said.

“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.”