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Obama on B.B. King's death: "The blues has lost its king, and America has lost a legend"

During a blues concert hosted by the White House in 2012, President Obama sang a few bars of "Sweet Home Chicago" with blues singers Buddy Guy and B.B. King
President Obama sings "Sweet Home Chicago" with blues legend B.B. King 01:09

President Obama commemorated the passing of blues legend B.B. Kingwith heartfelt words, mourning that America "has lost a legend."

"The blues has lost its king, and America has lost a legend," the president said of King, who passed away at his home in Las Vegas Thursday at the age of 89. The singer, Obama declared in a statement, was an "ambassador who brought his all-American music to his country and the world."

A bus ride with B.B. King 04:29

"No one worked harder than B.B.," Mr. Obama continued. "No one inspired more up-and-coming artists. No one did more to spread the gospel of the blues."

The president recalled his experience meeting the music legend when the White House played host to a blues concert in 2012, where King -- along with other music legends like Buddy Guy, Mick Jagger, and Gary Clark Jr. -- performed. When the blues singer struck a few bars of "Sweet Home Chicago" and Buddy Guy invited Obama to sing with him, the chief executive good-naturedly joined in.

"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," Mr. Obama said, "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," the president said. "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."

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