Blues legend B.B. King found to have died from natural causes

Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:12pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Veteran blues musician B.B. King died of natural causes primarily stemming from Alzheimer's disease, Nevada officials said Monday, putting to rest accusations by his two daughters that he was murdered.

King's death at age 89 in May was also attributed to coronary artery disease, diabetes, heart failure, high blood pressure and brain damage from low blood flow, the Clark County Coroner's office said in a press release.

Coroners said they determined King's cause of death after conducting an autopsy, toxicology tests and consulting a neuropathologist. The examination also concluded that while King had suffered strokes, they did not kill him.

Officials had said a homicide investigation would be conducted at the time of King's death after two of his children, Karen Williams and Patty King, alleged that the musician was poisoned by longtime associates. An attorney for King's estate said the allegations were unfounded.

"At this point we can say with confidence that Mr. King died of natural causes," John Fudenberg, the Clark County coroner, said.

"Our condolences go out to the family and many friends of Mr. King, and we hope this determination brings them some measure of closure."

King, a prolific and celebrated musician who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was placed in hospice care after being hospitalized in April this year from complications related to diabetes. He died shortly after, on May 14.

Hundreds of mourners gathered for his funeral in Memphis, Tennessee, bidding him a musical farewell.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Leslie Adler)

 
U.S. blues legend B.B. King performs onstage during the 45th Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux July 2, 2011.  REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud