Page last updated at 14:08 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

BB King to play UK arena concerts

BB King at the Grammy Nominations Concert in December
BB King performed at the Grammy Nominations Concert in December

Blues legend BB King is to play four arena concerts in the UK - despite retiring from touring outside of the US in 2006.

He will tour with 75-year-old British blues veteran John Mayall, who will play in the first half of the shows followed by King in the second half.

The pair will perform in Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and London at the end of June.

King, 83, launched his professional career in 1947.

During the 1950s, he was averaging 275 concerts a year and, in 1956, he notched up 342 gigs.

The 14-times Grammy-winner is best-known for his hits Every Day I Have The Blues and The Thrill Is Gone, performed on his guitar, Lucille.

In December, he performed with the Foo Fighters and John Mayer at the first ever Grammy Nominations Concert, in Los Angeles.

Announcing his retirement from international touring in 2006, King said: "I think the clock is ticking, yes.

"In fact, I know it is.

"Frank Sinatra sang about the September of [his] years. I think I'm in the November of my years."

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