Chuck Berry: Tributes pour in for rock and blues icon

Chuck Berry: 1926-2017
Chuck Berry: 1926-2017

The music world has united to pay tribute to rock’n’roll pioneer Chuck Berry, who has died at the age of 90.

The St Charles County police in Missouri, reported last night that the guitarist had been found unresponsive at lunchtime on Saturday March 19.

Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger responded to the news last night - with the band later issuing a joint statement saying that Berry’s music will live forever.

They say: “The Rolling Stones are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Chuck Berry. He was a true pioneer of rock ‘n’ roll and a massive influence on us.

“Chuck was not only a brilliant guitarist, singer and performer, but most importantly, he was a master craftsman as a songwriter. His songs will live forever.”

Guitarist Keith Richards adds: “One of my big lights has gone out.” He then posted an image of him and Berry together onstage with his quote: “I don’t even know if Chuck realises what he did. I don’t think he does.

“It was just such a total thing, a great sound, a great rhythm coming off the needle of all of Chuck’s records. It’s when I knew what I wanted to do.”

Rod Stewart called Berry the founding father of rock and adds: “It started with Chuck Berry. The first album I ever bought was Chuck’s Live At The Tivoli and I was never the same.”

The Kinks Dave Davies said Berry’s passing marked “the day music died” and adds: “probably the most important musical influence in my life. RIP Chuck Berry.”

Former Beach Boy Brian Wilson also paid tribute to the guitarist, saying: “I am so sad to hear about Chuck Berry passing. He was a tremendous inspiration for me and so many of my peers. He will be missed by everyone who loves rock’n’roll. Love & Mercy, Brian.”

Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash says he’s “heartbroken” at the news, and adds: “He was undisputedly the king” while AC/DC issued a joint statement saying: “Chuck Berry IS rock and roll. It’s sad day for rock and roll, but his music will live on forever.”

Tributes from social media can be viewed below.

Last year, on his 90th birthday, Berry announced that he was planning on releasing Chuck, his first studio album in 38 years in 2017.

Referring to his wife of 68 years, Berry said at the time: “This record is dedicated to my beloved Toddy. My darlin’ I’m growing old. I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes.”

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Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.