WASHINGTON – Tributes by fellow musicians for the life and music of rock legend Chuck Berry are rolling in after the 90-year-old guitarist, poet and songwriter died at his home in St. Charles, Missouri, on Saturday.
In a message on their Facebook account, St. Charles County Police, on the outskirts of St. Louis, Missouri, confirmed the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., “better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry.”
Police responded to an emergency call from Berry’s house, where they found the artist unconscious and “Unfortunately, the 90-year-old man could not be revived and was pronounced deceased at 1:26 pm.”
Fellow musicians paid tribute to the music pioneer on Twitter and in announcements, calling him “a rock ’n’ roll original” and “undisputedly the King.”
Mick Jagger said in a series of tweets: “I want to thank him for all the inspirational music he gave to us. He lit up our teenage years, and blew life into our dreams of being musicians and performers. His lyrics shone above others and threw a strange light on the American dream,” while his fellow Rolling Stones member Keith Richards said in a statement: “One of my great lights has gone out!”
Bruce Springsteen lamented on Twitter “this is a tremendous loss of a giant for the ages,” adding: “Chuck Berry was rock’s greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock ‘n’ roll writer who ever lived.”
Ex-Beatle Ringo Starr said on Twitter “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. God bless Chuck Berry.”
The late John Lennon once said, “If they tried to give rock and roll another name, they could have called it Chuck Berry.”
When NASA sent the unmanned Voyager I spacecraft into space in 1977, it included an album with sounds and images of life on Earth in case it is ever found by an alien species and the song that stands as a representative of rock is precisely, “Johnny B. Goode” by Berry.
And in a statement, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame noted that Berry’s music and lyrics “captured the essence of 1950s teenage life,” noting that his work influenced everyone who took up a guitar after him.