NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) B.B. King Blues Club & Grill has announced a final run of shows in its Times Square location, closing the doors of its New York venue after 18 years because of “escalating rent,” according to a statement.
Buddy Guy is expected to shutter the joint April 29. B.B. King’s will host a very special closing week celebration which will consist of performances by: Buddy Guy, Rick Ross, Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh + Special Guests, El Gran Combo, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic and more.
The club is in the process of selecting a new location in Manhattan, according to a press release.
“It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share the news about B.B. King Blues Club’s closing,” said COO Tsion Bensusan. “Despite many sold out shows, the location’s rent escalated to an unsustainable level, leaving us no choice but to close our doors. Unfortunately this has become a growing trend in New York City, with other iconic music venues and businesses falling victim to opportunistic property owners. This venue’s legacy extends much further than the stage, playing a role in Times Square’s revitalization two decades ago. It is a shame that wasn’t taken into consideration regarding its future in the area. Nevertheless, we feel extremely grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from both fans and artists over the years to create some truly historic and incredible memories in this space. We hope that we can find a new place to call home very soon so we can continue bringing live music to you all.”
Shows beyond April 29 will be moved to various venues throughout the city. The weely Sunday Gospel Brunch featuring The Harlem Gospel Choir will give their final two performances at B.B. King’s April 22 and 29.
The venue opened June 20, 2000 and some of the storied performers include Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Etta James, Alicia Keys, The Allman Brothers, ZZ Top, Jay-Z, Bon Jovi, Mary J. Blige, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Al Green, Wilson Pickett, Bo Diddley, and B.B. King himself.