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CNN (Fle photo) / Chuck Berry
Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry has died aged 90, police in the US state of Missouri report.
The singer was found unresponsive at lunchtime on Saturday, St Charles County police said.
Berry’s seven-decade career boasted a string of hits, including classics Roll Over Beethoven and Johnny B. Goode.
He received a lifetime achievement Grammy in 1984 and was among the first inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
In a statement on Facebook, the St Charles County Police Department said they were called to reports of an unresponsive man at 12:40 local time (17:40 GMT).
“Unfortunately, the 90-year-old man could not be revived and was pronounced deceased at 1:26pm,” the statement continued.
“The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry.”
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.”
Singer-songwriter Huey Lewis described him as “maybe the most important figure in all of rock and roll”.
“His music and influence will last forever,” he added.
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”.
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.”
Berry was born in St Louis, Missouri, in 1926, and had his first hit, Maybellene, in 1955.
Last year, he announced he would be releasing his first album in nearly four decades. He dedicated it to his wife of 68 years, Themetta “Toddy”.Source: BBC / CNN