WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) released the following statement on the passing of Blues legend Riley B. (B.B.) King:

“Mississippi is the birthplace of the Blues and today it has lost one of its favorite sons. B.B. King, born and raised in Indianola, Mississippi, is one of the giants of American music and it is with great sadness that I give my most heartfelt condolences to his family, extended musical family and countless friends.

“I have had many opportunities to spend time with B.B. in and around the Mississippi Delta and each time I was in his presence, I walked away with a greater sense of his brilliance and great dedication to his craft.

“Considered by many to be the greatest guitarist of all time and the “King of the Blues,” B.B. King’s great career spanned six decades and he received many accolades including induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, many Grammy Awards, and myriad other awards and honors.

“He was a source of pride for the Mississippi Delta and its greatest ambassador across the world. From “The Thrill is Gone” to “Stormy Monday,” his songs resonated with everyone who heard them. I will, indeed, miss this great icon but I am confident that his legacy of excellence and his music will live on forever.”