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
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.