More than 300 music fans have lined up in Las Vegas for a public viewing of blues legend BB King, who died last week.

First through the door was Larry Montano, 61, who had staked out his spot in line more than five hours earlier.

“BB King has been an inspiration and blues idol to me for many years,” said Montano, who recalled shaking the hand of King after a performance at the Wilshire Theater in Los Angeles in the 1980s.

He said his favourite songs are The Thrill Is Gone and Why I Sing the Blues.

“He tells a wonderful story and it’s got a great blues feel,” said Montano of Palmdale, California.

King’s daughter Rita Washington greeted fans in line when she arrived.

“Dad is just loving this,” she said.

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“This is part of his homecoming.”

The viewing began a weeklong series of memorials for King, who died May 14 in Las Vegas at 89.

A musical tribute at a rock ‘n’ roll venue on the Las Vegas Strip is planned for Friday night, and a procession next Wednesday will mark the King of the Blues’ return to Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee, before a final road trip to Indianola, Mississippi, and burial on May 30.

AAP

4KQ 693AM Brisbane