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B.B. King’s Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 Hits

Aside from his legendary live shows, King notched numerous hits on the Billboard charts. We've rounded up his 10 biggest Billboard Hot 100 hits.

B.B.King — the long-reigning king of the blues — died Thursday night at the age of 89. From the release of his first single in 1949 to his final concerts more than 60 years later, King brought a pure, raw expression of the blues to countless fans, followers and friends.    

Aside from his legendary live shows (captured best on 1965’s Live at the Regal, according to Eric Clapton), King notched numerous hits on Billboard charts. Below, we’ve rounded up his 10 biggest Billboard Hot 100 hits.    


Ringo Starr, Kelly Clarkson, Big K.R.I.T. & More Pay Tribute to B.B. King 

10. “Guess Who/Them Changes” (Peaked at No. 62 on Oct. 14, 1972)

9. “Hummingbird” (Peaked at No. 48 on Aug. 22, 1970)   

8. “Paying the Cost to be the Boss” (Peaked at No. 39 on May 25, 1968)

7. “Chains and Things” (Peaked at No. 45 on Dec. 12, 1970)

6. “Ask Me No Questions” (Peaked at No. 40 on April 3, 1971)

5. “Rock Me Baby” (Peaked at No. 34 on June 20, 1964)

4. “Ain’t Nobody Home” (Peaked at No. 46 on Jan. 22, 1972)

3. “To Know You Is To Love You” (Peaked at No. 38 on Sept. 22, 1973)

2. “I Like to Live the Love” (Peaked at No. 28 on March 9, 1974)

1. “The Thrill Is Gone” (Peaked at No. 15 on Feb. 21, 1970)

B.B. King’s Billboard chart history dates back to 1951, when his first charting single, “3 O’Clock Blues,” reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Most-Played in Juke Box Rhythm & Blues Records chart, and on the Best Selling Retail Rhythm & Blues Records chart. He charted further No. 1s on Billboard’s various R&B charts with “You Know I Love You,” “Please Love Me” and “You Upset Me Baby.” He claimed top 10 hits with singles like “Chains and Things,” “Paying the Cost To Be the Boss,” “I Like To Live the Love” and one his most well-known hits, “The Thrill Is Gone.”    

He also charted 25 albums on Billboard’s Blues Albums chart — tying him with Joe Bonamassa for the most charted albums ever in the history of the chart. On the Billboard 200, B.B. King notched 33 charting albums (1968-2008). His highest-charting set came in 2000, when his collaborative album with Eric Clapton titled “Riding With the King” peaked at No. 3.    

In addition, B.B. King had 32 charting singles on the Billboard Hot 100 from 1964-1989. His final chart entry on the Hot 100 during his lifetime was a 1989 pairing with U2 on “When Love Comes To Town.”

B.B. King’s Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 Hits is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the fewest. Due to changes in chart methodology over the years, certain eras are weighted differently to account for chart turnover rates over various periods.

— Reporting by Keith Caulfield