Rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry is dead at age 90, according to St. Charles County, Missouri police. No cause of death was given.
A post Saturday just before 6:00 p.m. ET on the police department’s Facebook page reads, “St. Charles County police responded to a medical emergency on Buckner Road at approximately 12:40 p.m. today (Saturday, March 18). Inside the home, first responders observed an unresponsive man and immediately administered lifesaving techniques. Unfortunately, the 90-year-old man could not be revived and was pronounced deceased at 1:26 p.m.
“The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry.” The post concludes, “The family requests privacy during this time of bereavement.”
Born Charles Edward Anderson Berry October 18, 1926 in St. Louis, MO, Berry popularized rock and roll with 1950s rock standards including “Rock and Roll Music,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Maybellene,” fusing blues, rockabilly and R&B into a sound that helped define the genre, coupled with guitar virtuosity and showmanship that was emulated by countless performers in the decades after.
Berry directly influenced the early music of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and The Kinks. John Lennon famously said of Berry, “If you had tried to try and give rock and roll another name you might call it Chuck Berry.”
Berry was a member of the very first class inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984 and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2000 and was presented with Sweden’s prestigious Polar Music Prize in 2014.
Berry’s music even made it into outer space — his 1958 hit “Johnny B. Goode” is the only rock and roll song included on the so-called “Golden Record” affixed to the Voyager spacecraft that was launched into the cosmos in 1977.
The rock legend was still performing and recording even in recent months. He announced in October 2016, on his 90th birthday, that he was releasing a new album this year, titled Chuck. It was to be his first new album in 38 years.
Asked ten years ago how he would want to be remembered, Berry replied, “I just want to be remembered. How? Any way. Any way you think of me.”
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