Rock 'N' Roll Legend Chuck Berry Dies Aged 90

Posted 3 months ago

Yesterday, the world mourns the loss of legendary musician Chuck Berry, a founding father of rock 'n' roll.

Yesterday, the world mourns the loss of legendary musician Chuck Berry, a founding father of rock 'n' roll.

 

Legendary musician Chuck Berry, who was central to the development of rock 'n' roll beginning in the '50s with indelible hits like "Roll Over Beethoven," "Rock and Roll Music" and "Johnny B. Goode," died today in St. Charles County, Mo. He was 90 years old. His death was confirmed by the St. Charles County, Mo., police department.

"The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry," it said.

Considered one of the founding fathers of rock 'n' roll, Charles Edward Anderson Berry was present at its infancy in the 1950s and emerged as its first star guitarist and songwriter - a nearly 30-year-old black performer whose style electrified young white audiences and was emulated by white performers who came to dominate American popular music.

Although Elvis Presley was called the king of rock 'n' roll, that crown would have fit just as well on Berry's own carefully sculpted pompadour.

Berry hits such as "Johnny B. Goode," "Roll Over Beethoven," "Sweet Little Sixteen," "Maybellene" and "Memphis" melded elements of blues, rockabilly and jazz into some of the most timeless pop songs of the 20th century.

He was a monumental influence on just about any kid who picked up a guitar with rock star aspirations - Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen among them.

High-profile musicians were quick to pay tribute to Berry's talent and influence.

Motown legends The Jacksons tweeted: "Chuck Berry merged blues & swing into the phenomenon of early rock'n'roll. In music, he cast one of the longest shadows. Thank You Chuck."

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr quoted one of Berry's own lyrics on Twitter, saying: "Just let me hear some of that rock 'n' roll music any old way you use it."

"I am playing I'm talking about you," he wrote.

Both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones covered Berry's songs, as did The Beach Boys and scores of other acts - including Elvis.

"If you tried to give rock 'n' roll another name," John Lennon once said, "you might call it 'Chuck Berry'."

Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones said that Berry "lit up our teenage years and blew life into our dreams".

Singer Bruce Springsteen called him "a giant for the ages".

Bruce Springsteen tweets: Chuck Berry was rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock 'n' roll writer who ever lived.

The novelist Stephen King noted that Berry had a long life for a consummate rock'n'roller, tweeting: "Chuck Berry died. This breaks my heart, but 90 years old ain't bad for rock and roll. Johnny B. Goode forever."