First responders could not revive Berry, and he was pronounced dead at 1:26 p.m.
In 2012, Berry reported to Rolling Stone that “My singing days have passed”.
Berry’s rollicking songs like “Johnny B. Goode” and “Roll Over Beethoven” defined a genre unlike any heard before.
In 1977, Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” made history as one of the music recordings included on the Golden Record, a collection sent off into space for potential extraterrestrial contact as part of NASA’s Voyager spacecraft.
Mick Jagger, lead singer of the Rolling Stones wrote: “I am so sad to hear of Chuck Berry’s passing”.
Country singer Keith Urban simply tweeted: “Thank you for the poetry”.
Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode was one of the most important points in Back To The FutureNow, following his death at the age of 90 on Sunday, what better time to look back through the songs which helped earn him the title as “Shakespeare of Rock N” Roll’, as Bob Dylan once dubbed him. The revolutionary pioneer of rock “n” roll music was 90 years old.
– Ringo Starr: “R I P. And peace and love Chuck Berry Mr. rock “n” roll music”. “This is the gentleman who started it all”. “No color, no ethnic, no political – I don’t want that, never did”, Berry told the New York Times in 2003. “My darlin’ I’m growing old!”
Berry died in his home in St Louis, Missouri, surrounded by friends and family, and is survived by his wife Themetta Suggs-Berry and four children. Berry talked about his own influences like Glenn Miller and T-Bone Walker.
Berry’s brushes with the law came early and late.
Chuck Berry performing in Cleveland in 2012.
So named after Berry’s famous Duck Walk.
Some critics suggested it was his former pianist, Johnnie Johnson, who composed the tunes while Berry only penned the lyrics.
What was always guaranteed was Berry would be super quotable, that he knew what a good sound bite was, and that at his age keeping it real was the only one to go. The star was hard to handle, and the shows were carelessly played more often than not, but his legend saw him through professionally until the end of his life. We will never forget you! He later regained all the rights to his compositions.
An absurdly abridged list of musicians inspired by Berry’s brilliance – essentially anyone who ever picked up an electric Fender or Gibson guitar – includes The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Page and on and on. During his stint in prison from 1962 to 1963, he completed his high school education and wrote songs such as “Tulane” and “Nadine“.
Berry’s reputation for being greedy and grouchy was evident in the 1987 documentary “Hail!” Any kind of rock “n” roll?
And his tribute was echoed by Lenny Kravitz. His music will live on forever.
In 1959 – the same year Berry was briefly arrested after a white girl embraced him in MS – the rocker hailed the Eisenhower-era American dream with “Back in the U.S.”, said to be written after he visited Australia and saw the conditions of aboriginal people. The first line? “Arrested on charges of unemployment/He was sitting in the witness stand”. In the early 1990s, Berry settled out of court with nearly 60 women who claimed that Berry had cameras installed in the toilets of a restaurant he owned.
Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr. was born on October 18, 1926, in San Jose, Calif., but his family moved to St. Louis just after his birth. He was the founding inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, author of music wildly popular in its time and still revered by pop culture decades later.