Squabbles Begin|Over B.B. King’s Estate


     LAS VEGAS (CN) – Blues great B.B. King left an estate worth millions of dollars that already has been subject to a legal battle initiated by some of his daughters.
     King’s estate has been valued at $10 million to $30 million. The International Business Times recently estimated his estate’s net worth at more than $10 million, while website TheRichest pegged it at more than $30 million.
     King’s longtime business manager, LaVerne Toney, is executor of the estate, but King’s daughters, Karen Williams, Patty King and Rita Wilson, unsuccessfully filed a court petition in April to gain power of attorney.
     Williams and Patty King also accused Toney and King’s personal assistant, Myron Johnson, of hastening his death.
     “I believe my father was poisoned and that he was administered foreign substances. I believe my father was murdered,” Williams and Patty King said in separate but identically worded affidavits, The Associated Press reported Monday.
     A Clark County coroner performed an autopsy Sunday, but results won’t be available for several weeks. King, who suffered from Type 2 diabetes for years, died at his home on May 14 in Las Vegas, the seat of Clark County.
     Las Vegas Metropolitan Police told The Associated Press there is no homicide investigation in the matter.
     King earned more than $100 million in his life, according to the Financial Times. Most of his income came from live performances and recordings, but he also earned income from several television and movie appearances, licensing agreements and other sources. King’s estate includes intellectual property rights and royalties.
     King signed his first recording contract in 1949 with Los Angeles-based RPM Records and became the nation’s biggest R&B artist within a year after the release of his first No. 1 hit, “3 O’clock Blues,” in 1950.
     Since then, King recorded more than 50 albums, won 15 Grammy awards and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Official Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame. His biggest crossover hit, “The Thrill Is Gone,” released in 1970, was ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 200 greatest songs of all time.
     King also owned a record label that he started in 1956, Blue Boys Kingdom, and an extensive vintage guitar collection, mostly of Gibson guitars, worth an undetermined amount.
     King married twice and has 11 surviving biological and adopted children and 50 grandchildren.

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