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Chuck Berry died yesterday at the age of 90. He was found unresponsive in his Missouri home, and pronounced dead soon afterwards.

Among the songs he was best known for was Johnny B. Goode, which was later recorded by lots of other artists, with Elton, Peter Tosh and Judas Priest among them.
His biggest hit was in 1972. My Ding-a-Ling was included on the album The London Chuck Berry Sessions (even though he recorded the song not in London but at a concert in Coventry, England). In 1979, Berry appeared as himself in a 1979 movie about 1950s rock, American Hot Wax, and performed for President Jimmy Carter at the White House. Three days later, he was sentenced to 120 days in federal prison and four years’ probation for income tax evasion.
In 1984, the Recording Academy gave the rock pioneer a lifetime achievement award in 1984. Two years later, he was in the first group of musicians inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Mr. Berry, who  continued performing well into his 80s, was remembered by Elton on his Instagram page.

The former Reg Dwight wrote that he was ”without doubt the greatest rock and roll songwriter of all time. The architect of how rock and roll guitars would sound forever. A true giant of a talent.

”Thanks for making all those wonderful records that will define rock music forever.”

Others weighing in on the loss included Mick Jagger who said:

“I am so sad to hear of Chuck Berry‘s passing. 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. Chuck, you were amazing and your music is engraved inside us forever.”

Bruce Springsteen declared that Berry was ”rock’s greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock ‘n’ roll writer who ever lived,” and Bill Clinton said that he and his wife, Hillary, loved him for ”as long as we can remember.”

He added: ”The man was inseparable from his music – both were utterly original and distinctly American. He made our feet move and our hearts more joyful. And along the way he changed our country and the history of popular music.”


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