Details of the funeral services for B.B. King have been announced by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and the board of the B.B. King Museum. On Saturday, May 23, a memorial service will be held in Las Vegas, NV. On Wednesday, May 27, Mr. King’s remains will be flown to Memphis and a procession from the airport will begin around noon and move to Beale Street’s Handy Park for a tribute. Then, on Friday, May 29, a public viewing will be held at the B.B. King Museum in Indianola, MS from 10 am – 5 pm The funeral services will be held at the Bell Grove M.B. Church in Indianola on Saturday, May 30, from 11 am – 3 pm. From the church, a procession will travel to the Museum around 4 pm. There will also be a private graveside service for family and friends at 5 p.m.
Mississippi Governor Bryant commented “There are any number of reasons we are glad B.B. is being brought back to Mississippi. First and foremost, he’s one of our state’s most beloved native sons.” Mr. King never forgot his home and community. According to long-time friend and former Museum board member Carver Randle, B.B. King maintained strong personal ties to Indianola and always considered it home. The B.B. King Homecoming Festival has been a destination for Blues fans for over 30 years and brings thousands of fans to Indianola each year.
Executive Director of the B.B. King Museum Dion Brown said “From a practical standpoint, we feel comfortable knowing his final resting place will receive perpetual care at the Museum. Also, he had requested that his funeral be held at the Bell Grove M.B. Church in Indianola, and that the Rev. David Matthews conduct the service. Sadly, Rev. Matthews passed away just over a month ago, so that part wasn’t possible. Everyone involved is trying their hardest to fulfill the remainder of his wishes.”
Governor Bryant added “I, along with fans that number in the millions from all over the world, feel a connection to this gentleman who left the earth a better place with his kindness. On a personal level, my mother was born in Berclair one year after B.B., and I grew up in Moorhead just down the road. I can’t help but feel a certain kinship over our shared geographical roots in the Delta soil.”
“Mississippi couldn’t have asked for a better ambassador for our state. When everyone from every corner of the globe knows an individual by two initials and knows the state they’re from, that’s pretty impressive,” said Gov. Bryant, “and we’re humbled that it’s our state.”
While B.B. King’s death may seem sad to many, Mr. King had a wonderful life full of achievements, friends, and good will. Celebrate the life of B.B. King by being kind to someone today and every day. If you are considering sending flowers, please consider a donation to the B.B. King Museum instead and help keep B.B. King’s legacy Live & Well.