Chuck Berry was found dead at a residence outside St. Louis on Saturday (March 18). He was 90.
The guitarist and blues singer, often dubbed "The Father of Rock 'n' Roll," was known for hits including "Johnny B Goode," "Sweet Little Sixteen," "Brown Eyed Handsome Man," and "Roll Over Beethoven," the latter being the first song the Beatles performed at their first U.S. concert.
In fact, Beatles bandmate John Lennon, who died in 1980, once said, "If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry.'"
As one of the first inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Berry's blending of rock, rhythm and blues, and country-western was recognized, even warranting him a signature "Chuck Berry riff." His moves were also distinctive, a hunched-over "duck walk."
Hall of Fame President and CEO Greg Harris said in a statement, "Chuck Berry is rock and roll. The undisputed original poet laureate, he influenced every rock and roll artist after him and every guitarist that ever plugged in."
Other musicians, and fellow guitarists, took to Twitter to express their sorrows and gratitude.
Chuck Berry was rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock 'n' roll writer who ever lived.— Bruce Springsteen (@springsteen) March 18, 2017
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. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/9zQbH5bo9V— Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) March 18, 2017
He lit up our teenage years, and blew life into our dreams of being musicians and performers. 2/3 #ChuckBerry— Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) March 18, 2017
His lyrics shone above others & threw a strange light on the American dream. Chuck you were amazing&your music is engraved inside us forever— Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) March 18, 2017
Rock n roll would not be what it is today without the influence of @ChuckBerry! Thank God for his Rock and roll presence on this planet!— Sammy Hagar (@sammyhagar) March 19, 2017