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B.B. King Blues Club in Times Square announces final performances

The venue said escalating rent prompted it to shutter after 18 years.

B.B. King in Times Square will host its

B.B. King in Times Square will host its final show on April 29. Photo Credit: Getty Images for Montblanc/Dimitrios Kambouris

New York may soon have the music venue blues.

B.B. King Blues Club & Grill will host its final concert April 29. The venue, located in Times Square, at 237 W. 42nd St., announced it planned to close its doors after 18 years because of escalating rent.

“Unfortunately this has become a growing trend in New York City, with other iconic music venues and businesses falling victim to opportunistic property owners,” Tsion Bensusan, the venue’s chief operator officer, said in a statement.

The finale of the nostalgic rhythm and blues-themed club highlights the plight of smaller venues in the city, which comes after the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment released a 2017 report showing that more than 20 percent of such clubs have shuttered over the past 15 years.

The 11,000 square-foot theater named after Mississippi blues legend B.B. King has a concert capacity of up to 1,000. The venue’s marquee with large red letters and its crushed velvet stage curtains recalled the Chicago Blues heyday of the 1950s, when electric blues music began to flourish in urban areas.

Prominent blues guitarist Buddy Guy will headline the club’s final show. Other notable names scheduled to play during the club’s final week include: Rick Ross, Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. All shows scheduled for after April 29 will be moved to other venues throughout the city.

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