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Rock 'n' Roll pioneer Chuck Berry dead at 90

Press Trust of India  |  Los Angeles 

The legendary architect of rock 'n' roll music Chuck Berry, who brought R&B in guitar solos to genre, has passed away. He was 90.

The St Charles County Police Department in Missouri confirmed his death on its page.

The department said that they "responded to a medical emergency on Buckner Road at approximately 12:40 pm today (Saturday, March 18)."

"Inside the home, first responders observed an unresponsive man and immediately administered lifesaving techniques. Unfortunately, the 90-year-old man could not be revived and was pronounced deceased at 1:26 pm.

"The St Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr, better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry. The family requests privacy during this time of bereavement," the official page of the department wrote.

Berry was born in a middle-class African-American family in St Louis, Missouri, and picked up the guitar in an early age playing at parties, high school and neighborhoods.

He once claimed on 'Tonight Show' that he was primarily influenced by legendary singer-songwriter Louis Jordan's music. Berry formed a trio with a drummer, Ebby Harding and keyboardist Johnnie Johnson, with whom he rose through St Louis clubs.

Berry became a huge sensation in mid-fifties, thanks to his greatest hits like "Maybellene", "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Johnny B Goode".

His stage bravado, thrilling sounds and remarkable playing style gave his listeners more than they knew they were getting from jukebox entertainment.

Berry was among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its opening in 1986.

Musicians of all genres and ages paid tribute to Berry on social media.

"Chuck Berry was rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock 'n' roll writer who ever lived," said Bruce Springsteen on Twitter.

Lead guitarist of the rock band Queen, Brian May, penned down a long note for Berry in which he said, "I was shocked to hear he'd gone. And then you get that haunting feeling that you didn't think of him for ages, even though he was a massive influence on your life.

"I never met Chuck Berry, sadly, but in a way maybe it's better I remained the fan at a distance that I always was, from the very beginnings of my own love affair with the guitar."

May said that he "sincerely believe there is not a single rock guitarist in the world who hasn't been influenced, directly or indirectly, by Berry's 'bell' playing, and who hasn't occasionally dabbled in his trademark double-stopped riffing style - which opens 'Johnny B Goode', 'Bye Bye Johnny', 'Carol', and many others among his classic rock records."

Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger said, "His lyrics shone above others and threw a strange light on the American dream. Chuck you were amazing (and) your music is engraved inside us forever."

The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr wrote, "RIP. And peace and love Chuck Berry Mr rock 'n' roll music.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, March 19 2017. 11:57 IST