King’s 1970 crossover hit “The Thrill Is Gone”—which provided him with the first of over a dozen Grammy awards—was the launching point for international stardom. Among his many subsequent recordings were collaborations with artists across the musical spectrum including Willie Nelson, U2, Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti and Heavy D. All the while King never forgot the folks back home, and in the ’60s began making regular visits back to Mississippi for events including an annual celebration in honor of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, and later, a “B.B. King Homecoming” celebration in Indianola and workshops with students at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena. In 2004 the school created the B.B. King Recording Studio in his honor, and in 2008 Mississippi honored one of its favorite sons with the opening of the elaborate B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola.