Blues legend B.B. King passed away in 2015. Today would have been his 94th birthday and people are celebrating his life all over social media.
One of our favorite moments of King is when he had a jam session with President Barack Obama. It was during the “In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues” event at the White House in February 2012. Hosted by “Empire” star Taraji P. Henson, the evening showcased blues’ newest acts like Trombone Shorty and Gary Clark Jr. while honoring King and other pioneers of the genre.
The president and FLOTUS Michelle Obama enjoyed a special performance of “Sweet Home Chicago,” Obama busted out some of best vocal chops in a moment he’s clearly kept close to his heart. Mick Jagger, Buddy Guy and Jeff Beck were also on the stage. Watch below:
We sure miss those days when the White House had some decorum.
When B.B. King passed away in May of 2015, President Barack Obama released a statement about one of his favorite artists and a touching moment they shared, “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.”
He also reflected on the White House event, “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.”
Rest in power, B.B. King.