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Richards praises 'showman' Berry

Keith Richards has paid tribute to Chuck Berry as the blues legend was honoured with the Polar Music Prize in Sweden.

Berry was unable to attend the bash, with guitarist Dave Edmunds picking up the prestigious award on behalf of the 87-year-old music pioneer.

And Richards recorded a video tribute to the man he credits with influencing his musical direction.

The Stones guitarist says: “Chuck Berry – he just leapt out of the radio at me. I ate him basically, I breathed him. It wasn’t just food, he was the air I breathed for many years when I was learning guitar.

“Such a great voice, such a great player and also such a great showman – it was all in one package.

“If I listened to Chuck Berry, I was full for the day.”

Accepting the award on his behalf, Edmunds then read out Berry’s thank you speech.

It read: “My heart is in Sweden. I understand what a great honour it is to be a recipient. I am sorry I am unable to travel and receive this personally.”

Previous winners of the award, which recognises exceptional achievements across all genres of music, include Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney and Elton John.

Scott Munro

Scott looks after Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 25 years in newspapers and magazines and in 2014 joined our news desk, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more. Scott has previous written for the Daily Record, Sunday Mirror, The Herald and IGN.