Blues legend King hospitalized in Texas


HOUSTON -- B.B. King was hospitalized for a low-grade fever following the flu but was in good condition Friday, his management agency said.

The 81-year-old bluesman was expected to be discharged Saturday, a hospital spokesman said. King's agency said he plans to perform Tuesday in Fort Worth.

"He's doing great," said Tina France, vice president of Lieberman Management of New York. "He's in good spirits and cracking jokes."

King had been scheduled to perform Thursday at the Grand Opera House, but was admitted to The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, said Paul McCarthy, a hospital administrator.

King, who has a history of diabetes, was taking antibiotics for a 100-degree fever, France said. The ailment in a younger person wouldn't have required hospitalization, but King is being monitored because of his age, she said.

His concerts in Galveston, Orange and Tyler, Texas, previously scheduled for this week and early next week, will be rescheduled for June, France said.

John Koloen, a hospital spokesman, said the hospital in Galveston, about 50 miles southeast of Houston, was keeping King in the elderly acute care unit until Saturday "just to make sure."

With his trademark guitar that he named "Lucille," King racked up hits including "The Thrill Is Gone," "Every Day I Have the Blues" and "You Upset Me Baby."

Born on a plantation in Itta Bena, Miss., King started out on street corners playing for pocket change, according to his Web site. He went on to become one of the nation's most influential blues musicians.

In December, President Bush awarded King the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his musical contributions.