B.B. King Blues
By Jack Barnes
After 18 years of hosting some of music and entertainment’s most revered names, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill has announced its final run of shows in its current Times Square location (237 W 42nd St). Due to escalating rent, the historic venue and supper club is forced to close its doors with a final performance on April 29, 2018. B.B. King Blues Club is in the process of selecting a new location in Manhattan to relocate the venue.
“It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share the news about B.B. King Blues Club’s closing. Despite many sold out shows, the location’s rent escalated to an unsustainable level, leaving us no choice but to close our doors. Unfortunately this has become a growing trend in New York City, with other iconic music venues and businesses falling victim to opportunistic property owners. This venue’s legacy extends much further than the stage, playing a role in Times Square’s revitalization two decades ago. It is a shame that wasn’t taken into consideration regarding its future in the area. Nevertheless, we feel extremely grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from both fans and artists over the years to create some truly historic and incredible memories in this space. We hope that we can find a new place to call home very soon so we can continue bringing live music to you all,” remarks Tsion Bensusan, Chief Operating Officer.
All shows scheduled beyond the April 29th closing date will be moved to various venues throughout the city. The weekly Sunday Gospel Brunch featuring The Harlem Gospel Choir, will give their two final performances at B.B. King’s on April 22nd & 29th. BB King’s is currently working with the group to find a new home for their weekly residency which will be announced shortly. Lucille’s Grill, located inside the venue, will remain open until April 29th and will feature sets by club favorites: B.B. King Blues Club All-Stars, Jon Paris, A Decade of Soul, and more.
First opened on June 20, 2000, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill has hosted appearances by legends across all genres of music. Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Etta James, Alicia Keys, The Allman Brothers, ZZ Top, Jay-Z, Bon Jovi, Mary J. Blige, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Al Green, Wilson Pickett, Bo Diddley, and B.B. King himself are just a few of the many memorable performers to have graced the club’s stage. Recognized as must-see destination for live music, the venue offered fans unique experiences that could not be seen anywhere else including rare on-stage collaborations by: Larry Graham with Prince, B.B. King with John Mayer, Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus, Jerry Douglas with Paul Simon, Steep Canyon Rangers with Steve Martin, and many more.
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