Chuck Berry, rock ‘n’ roll’s founding guitar hero and storyteller who defined the music’s joy and rebellion in such classics as “Johnny B. Goode,” “Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Roll Over Beethoven,” died Saturday at his home in an unincorporated area west of St. Louis. He was 90.
Emergency responders summoned to Berry’s residence by his caretaker about 12:40 p.m. found him unresponsive, police in Missouri’s St. Charles County said in a statement. Attempts to revive Berry failed, and he was pronounced dead shortly before 1:30 p.m., police said.
Berry’s core repertoire was some three dozen songs, his influence incalculable, from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to virtually any group from garage band to arena act that called itself rock ‘n roll.
Fans and friends alike took to social media to mourn the rock legend’s passing.
“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.” – Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones, in a series of posts via Twitter
“Chuck Berry was a rock and roll original. A gifted guitar player, an amazing live performer, and a skilled songwriter whose music and lyrics captured the essence of 1950s teenage life. It’s fitting that he was the first person inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, as he influenced everyone who has picked up a guitar after him. Today, we celebrate his life. Hail Hail, Chuck Berry.” – Rock and Roll of Hall of Fame and Museum, in a statement
© 2017 The Canadian Press