Chuck Berry, rock and roll pioneer, dies at 90

  /  03.19.2017

Chuck Berry was found dead at a residence outside St. Louis on Saturday (March 18). He was 90.

The guitarist and blues singer, often dubbed “The Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” was known for hits including “Johnny B Goode,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “Brown Eyed Handsome Man,” and “Roll Over Beethoven,” the latter being the first song the Beatles performed at their first U.S. concert.

In fact, Beatles bandmate John Lennon, who died in 1980, once said, “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry.’”

As one of the first inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Berry’s blending of rock, rhythm and blues, and country-western was recognized, even warranting him a signature “Chuck Berry riff.” His moves were also distinctive, a hunched-over “duck walk.”

Hall of Fame President and CEO Greg Harris said in a statement, “Chuck Berry is rock and roll. The undisputed original poet laureate, he influenced every rock and roll artist after him and every guitarist that ever plugged in.”

Other musicians, and fellow guitarists, took to Twitter to express their sorrows and gratitude.

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