Eric Clapton pays tribute to B.B. King

15th May 2015, Comments 0 comments

British rock guitarist Eric Clapton on Friday paid tribute to his "dear friend" and mentor B.B. King following the blues legend's death at the age of 89.

"I just want to express my sadness and to say thank-you to my dear friend B.B. King," Clapton said in a short video posted on his Facebook page.

"I want to thank him for all of the inspiration and encouragement he gave me as a player over the years.

"There are not many left that play it in the pure way that B.B. did," the bluesman said in the video, which quickly attracted nearly a million views.

The former Cream guitarist, 70, called King a "beacon for all of us" who love the blues.

He encouraged those unfamiliar with King's work to get hold of his 1964 album "B.B. King Live at the Regal", adding it was "where it all really started for me as a young player."

King, a towering influence over generations of musicians, ranks among the guitar's greatest masters and carried out a heavy touring schedule until the last year of his life, when ill health intervened.

Clapton, who teamed up with King for their 2000 album "Riding with the King", was due to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London later Friday as part of a series of shows at the iconic venue.

© 2015 AFP

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