BB King’s Daughter Tells What Happened When He Performed In Prison She Was Jailed In
Blues legend, B.B.King, passed away in 2015 from complications due to type II diabetes at age 89. He loved all his 15 children more than life itself and took care of them all. Unfortunately, his time was spread sparingly among his kids, due to the demands of his career and constant traveling. That lead to him squeezing visits in with his children- who were in various parts of the U.S.- on the road. One of his visits was one he never thought he’d have to make…the time he performed in the same prison his daughter was locked up in.
Daughter Recalls Heartbreaking Prison Stint
B.B. King’s now 61 year old daughter, Patty King (pictured above right, with sister Rita King), was 36 in 1993, when her pops performed his then 69th prison concert. As a child, she’d spent much of her childhood waiting in the pretty dresses her mom put her in, for the arrival of her dad every time he’d come to Gainesville, FL to visit her. This time, B.B. King was performing in Gainesville for the female inmates at Gainesville Community Correctional Center and sadly, his daughter was sitting right there on the front row in her prison uniform.
Patty was serving a prison stint for cocaine trafficking during their emotional reunion. Before performing, BB walked over to his daughter and embraced her. Then he proceeded with his 1-hour set, along with his band as Patty watched.
Following the prison concert, BB met privately with Patty and her 4 children who at that time, were ranging in age from 3 to 20. People Magazine was there covering the story. Patty revealed the mixed emotions going through her mind at that time, after her dad’s 1 hour private visit and the familiar reality that he had to once again leave to fulfill his tour obligations:
“It made me cry,” says Patty, a few days later. “I felt proud. And I wished it could have been longer. I miss him. I long for my dad.”
During his visit, BB and Patty shared details of how she ended up being the incarcerated daughter of a iconic music legend. Patti admitted “It’s kinda rough sometimes, being B.B. King’s daughter. I had a lot of opportunities to do so many-things, and here I am.” When asked how he felt he did as a father, BB admitted, “not nearly good enough,” referring to his daughter’s imprisonment.
It’s unclear how many years total she ended up serving, but Patti reportedly served at least a minimum of 11 years out of her two prison sentences.
Patty King’s Lengthy History With Men That Led To Prison Stints
Patty King’s (pictured above in black top with sister, Karen Williams, outside father’s funeral service) deep legal troubles began after seemingly looking for love in the wrong places and making bad decisions with the men she loved. In 1974, after graduating high school, she worked for her dad as a receptionist for his Las Vegas business. By 1979, she met and married her first husband that same year, but soon after marriage, she received probation for forging $857 worth of checks with him. Leroy had a rap sheet for theft and robbery, according to People.
Just two years after her probation sentence, she caught a marijuana-possession charge and ended up serving 4 years in prison. “I still hadn’t got a good look at life,” says Patty. …“I thought being in prison at that lime was like a game.”
She divorced Leroy in 1984 and said, “We were doing all the wrong things,” says Patty. “It was a bad marriage, and I didn’t know anything about his record until it was too late.”
Unfortunately in 1988, Patty King married another man with a criminal past, Alvin McHellon, who had robbery charges on his rap sheet. By 1990, both Patty and Alvin were arrested on cocaine trafficking charges and were ratted out by an informant.
At the time of his prison visit, BB told People that he’d suspected Patty was involved in some type of criminal actvity and tried to help her prior to her getting locked up.
“From time to time, I thought something was going on with her,” says B.B., recalling his daughter’s troubled early years. “I talked to her, and she denied it. The next time I talked to her she’d been arrested. Well, there’s nothin’ to do but support her. I love her, and I don’t turn my back on a person when they’re down. She’s my daughter, so doubly so.”
The blues icon continued to financially support not only Patty and her kids at that time, but also up until his dying day in 2014, just as he did for ALL of his remaining 11 (of 15) children.
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