B.B. King Public Viewing and Funeral Service Plans Announced

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Fans of blues guitarist B.B. King can pay their last respects to him at a public viewing to be held in Las Vegas this Friday.

A message on King’s official website states: “There will be a public viewing on Friday May 22, 2015 from 3pm - 7pm. at the Palm Mortuary West, 1600 South Jones Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89146.”

Afterward, King’s body will be sent to Mississippi, where plans are being made for services in his hometown of Indianola next week, according to King’s business manager, Laverne Toney.

During the viewing, visitors will be allowed to pass King’s open casket. There will be no seating or memorial service.

A private service for King’s family will be held at 11 a.m. on May 23 at the downtown Palm Mortuary chapel, which seats 400. Toney and mortuary manager Matthew Phillips said the media will not be allowed.

King will be buried on the grounds of the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola, according to Allen Hammons, a member of the museum’s board of directors.

Toney was King’s business manager for the past 39 years and has power-of-attorney over his affairs. Her authority was challenged in recent weeks by three of King’s daughters, who said she had withheld his medications and stolen money and jewelry from the guitarist. A judge denied the daughters’ request to seek control of their father’s affairs on May 7, saying he found no evidence that Toney was abusing King or stealing his property. An assistant to Toney was also named in the daughters’ claim.

King died on May 15 following a series of medical episodes attributed to his two-decade battle with Type II diabetes.

A hospice nurse and Myron Johnson, King’s tour manager and personal assistant, were at the guitarist’s bedside when he died, according to attorney Brent Bryson, who represented King in the guardianship dispute with his daughters.