Society

Musicians Respond To Passing Of Rock Legend Chuck Berry

| by Kathryn Schroeder

Chuck Berry, the founding father of rock 'n' roll with such classics as "Johnny B. Goode" and "Sweet Little Sixteen," has passed away at the age of 90.

Berry died on March 18 at his home outside of St. Louis, Missouri, the Associated Press reports. His caretaker called emergency responders to the house at around 12:40 p.m. When they arrived, they found the music legend unresponsive, Missouri's St. Charles County police said in a statement.

Responders made unsuccessful attempts to revive Berry; he was pronounced dead before 1:30 p.m.

Val Joyner, a police spokeswoman, said she did not have further details about Berry's death, but referred to him as "really a legend."

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Berry helped define a new style of music and way of life in the '50s and '60s that came to be rock 'n' roll.

"Everything I wrote about wasn't about me, but about the people listening," he once said.

"He was singing good lyrics, and intelligent lyrics, in the '50s when people were singing, 'Oh, baby, I love you so,'" The Beatles member John Lennon once said.

Berry influenced many musicians, such as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones, and some took to social media to express their feelings over his death.

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"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 Chuck," The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr tweeted on March 18.

"Chuck Berry was rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock 'n' roll writer who ever lived," Bruce Springsteen wrote, adding in a separate tweet that "this is a tremendous loss of a giant for the ages."

"RIP [Chuck Berry], the genesis behind the great sound of rock n roll. All of us in rock have now lost our father," Alice Cooper tweeted.

In a series of tweets, The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger expressed his gratitude for Berry's contribution to rock 'n' roll:

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 & threw a strange light on the American dream. Chuck you were amazing&your music is engraved inside us forever.

In Dec. 2015, Rolling Stone Magazine declared Chuck Berry as the seventh greatest guitarist of all time. In 1986, he was one of the first inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, according to its website.

Sources: Associated Press via The Times-PicayuneRingo Starr/Twitter, Alice Cooper/Twitter, Mick Jagger/Twitter (2) (3), Bruce Springsteen/Twitter (2), Rolling Stone, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame / Photo credit: Mick Jagger/Twitter

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