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Beale Street


Thousands of people took to streets of Memphis, Tennessee, on May 27 to pay tribute to B.B. King, who died earlier this month.

A Dixieland jazz band walked ahead of a black hearse down Beale Street – a street synonymous with American blues music.

The place is where the young King was nicknamed the Beale Street Blues Boy – a moniker later shortened to B.B.

B.B. King died on 14 May. US authorities are investigating claims the blues legend was poisoned after his daughters have alleged he was given “foreign substances to induce his premature death” by his business manager Laverne Toney and personal assistant Myron Johnson.

Photo Commercial Appeal

Photo Commercial Appeal

Lawyers for B.B. King’s estate have said the claims are unfounded and disrespectful.

The coroner initially said B.B. King had died of a series of small strokes connected to his Type 2 diabetes, although a further autopsy has now been carried out, with results expected in eight weeks.

At the street procession honoring B.B. King’s memory, the Memphis-based Mighty Souls Brass Band played the song When the Saints Go Marching In.

Drummer Rodd Bland – the son of the late blues singer Bobby “Blue” Bland – carried one of B.B. King’s signature Lucille guitars.

Artists including singer Ruby Wilson, Bobby Rush and the Ghost Town Blues Band all performed tributes on stage.

B.B. King’s body is being taken to Indianola, Mississippi, which the blues legend considered his hometown, for his funeral on Saturday, May 30.