Chuck Berry, the legendary guitarist, singer, songwriter, and rock and roll pioneer, died Saturday in Missouri at age 90.
Many in the music industry who have been influenced by his work and sound — plus those from movies and TV — were quick to pay tribute to Berry via social media. The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner and Kennedy Center honoree, who TIME magazine named one of the 10 Greatest Electric-Guitar Players in 2009, was hailed by many for his lasting legacy. “Chuck Berry was rock’s greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock ‘n’ roll writer who ever lived,” tweeted Bruce Springsteen via his official account.
“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,” said Mick Jagger in a statement. “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.”
Added Joan Jett,, “Hail hail rock ‘n’ roll. I’m glad I had a chance to know, love, and work with Chuck Berry during my life and career. Original Pure Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
“Thank you for the poetry, the passion and the potency,” wrote Keith Urban, while former American Idol judge and bassist Randy Jackson, who has played with everyone from Journey to Mariah Carey, extended his thanks to the “greatest rock and roll pioneer of all time.”
“A true pioneer, a brilliant writer, great guitar player, one of the Rock n Roll creators,” said Bob Seger in a statement. “How many people have played his riffs? His ‘Johnny B Goode’ is on the Voyager spacecraft heading for the stars — how many rockers can say that! Chuck had tremendous influence on my work and could not have been a nicer guy. One of the all-time greats.”
Even former President Bill Clinton also released a statement. “Hillary and I loved Chuck Berry for as long as we can remember. The man was inseparable from his music — both were utterly original and distinctly American,” he wrote. “He made our feet move and our hearts more joyful. And along the way he changed our country and the history of popular music. Chuck played at both my inaugurations and at the White House for my 25th Georgetown reunion, and he never slowed down, which is why his legend grew every time he stepped on stage. His life was a treasure and a triumph, and he’ll never be forgotten. Our hearts go out to his family and his countless friends and fans.”
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