Riley B. “B.B.” King

Riley B. “B.B.” King (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015) was an American blues singer, guitarist, songwriter, and record producer. King introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that influenced many later electric blues guitarists.[2]

King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and is considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname “The King of the Blues”, and one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar” along with Albert King and Freddie King.[3][4][5] King was known for performing tirelessly throughout his musical career, appearing at more than 200 concerts per year on average into his 70s.[6] In 1956, he reportedly appeared at 342 shows.[7]

King died at the age of 89 in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 14, 2015 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease along with congestive heart failure and diabetic complications.

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Christopher Russell Edward Squire

Christopher Russell Edward Squire (4 March 1948 – 27 June 2015) was an English musician, singer and songwriter. He was best known as the bassist and founding member of the progressive rock band Yes. He was the only member to appear on each of their 21 studio albums, released from 1969 to 2014.

Born in the Kingsbury area of London, Squire took an early interest in church music and sang in the local church and school choirs. After he took up the bass guitar at age sixteen, his earliest gigs were in 1964 for The Selfs, which later evolved into The Syn. In 1968, Squire formed Yes with singer Jon Anderson; he would remain the band’s sole bassist for the next 47 years. Squire was widely regarded as the dominant bassist among the English progressive rock bands, influencing peers and later generations of bassists with his incisive sound and elaborately contoured, melodic bass lines. His name was associated with his trademark instrument, the Rickenbacker 4001.

In May 2015, Squire announced a hiatus from Yes after he was diagnosed with acute erythroid leukemia and subsequently died on 27 June at his home in Phoenix, Arizona.[1] The band’s first show of their tour with Toto on 7 August 2015 marked the first Yes concert ever performed without Squire.[2] From 1991 to 2000, Rickenbacker produced a limited edition signature model bass in his name, the 4001CS. Squire released two solo albums, Fish Out of Water (1975) and Chris Squire’s Swiss Choir (2007), a Christmas album.

On 19 May 2015, Yes announced that Squire had been diagnosed with acute erythroid leukemia, and would take a break from performing while receiving treatment.[31][32]

In the late evening of 27 June 2015, Squire died from the illness, aged 67, while receiving treatment in his adopted hometown of Phoenix, Arizona.[1][20][33][34] Yes’ official Facebook page confirmed the news the next day.[35] Tributes were paid by fellow musicians Brian May, Geezer Butler, Gene Simmons and Tom Morello, as well as bandmates Geoff Downes and Bill Bruford

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Gary Dean Richrath

Gary Dean Richrath (October 18, 1949 – September 13, 2015)[1] was an American guitarist, best known as the lead guitarist and a songwriter for the band REO Speedwagon from 1970 until 1989.
Richrath wrote many of the REO’s songs including “Golden Country” from 1972, Ridin’ the Storm Out (1973), “Son of a Poor Man” (1973), “Flying Turkey Trot” (1976), “Only the Strong Survive” (1979) and “Take It On the Run” from 1981.[2] In 1977, he and other members of the band took over production, which resulted in the band’s first platinum album.

Richrath sang several REO Speedwagon songs including “Find My Fortune” (1973), “Wild as the Western Wind” (1974) and “(Only A) Summer Love” (1976). He left REO Speedwagon in 1989,[3] and released a solo album titled Only the Strong Survive in 1992 under the name “Richrath.”

On November 22, 2013, REO and Styx announced a benefit concert titled “Rock to the Rescue” to raise money for the affected families of the tornado in central Illinois. The concert was held on December 4, 2013 in Bloomington, Illinois and produced by Jay Goldberg Events & Entertainment. Richrath reunited with REO for a performance of “Ridin’ the Storm Out” to end REO’s set at the sold-out concert.[4] Richrath stayed on stage to help with the encore of “With a Little Help From My Friends” along with REO, Styx, Richard Marx and others.[5] Richrath was originally from the town of East Peoria which was damaged during the storm. Families affected by the storm and first-responders sat near the stage for this special concert and REO reunion.

Richrath died on September 13, 2015; news of his death was confirmed by his former REO Speedwagon bandmate Kevin Cronin.[6] He was 65.

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