Chuck Berry dies aged 90 at his home near St. Louis

  • Chuck Berry, from St. Louis, Missouri, was one of the pioneers of rock and roll
  • Known for hits including Johnny B. Goode, Maybellene and Roll Over Beethoven
  • Police confirmed that the musician had died at his home at 1.26pm on Saturday

By Abe Hawken For Mailonline and Abigail Miller For Dailymail.com

Published: 18:18 EDT, 18 March 2017 | Updated: 00:45 EDT, 19 March 2017

Chuck Berry, who duck-walked his way into the pantheon of rock'n'roll, has today died at the age of 90.

St. Charles County Police confirmed they responded to a 'medical emergency' at his home near St. Louis, Missouri, at 12.40pm on Saturday. 

He was found unresponsive and first responders desperately tried to perform a number of lifesaving techniques.

But the Maybellene, Roll Over Beethoven and Johnny B. Goode singer could not be revived and he was pronounced dead at 1.26pm.

Although Elvis Presley was called the king of rock'n'roll, that crown would have fit just as well on the carefully sculpted pompadour of Charles Edward Anderson Berry. 

He was present in rock's infancy in the 1950s and emerged as its first star guitarist and lyricist. 

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Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry has died at his home in Missouri, US, at the age of 90 Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry has died at his home in Missouri, US, at the age of 90

Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry has died at his home in Missouri, US, at the age of 90

He was found unresponsive and first responders desperately tried to perform a number of lifesaving techniques  He was found unresponsive and first responders desperately tried to perform a number of lifesaving techniques 
The guitarist (pictured) was known for a number of hits, including Maybellene and Roll Over Beethoven The guitarist (pictured) was known for a number of hits, including Maybellene and Roll Over Beethoven

The guitarist (pictured) was known for a number of hits, including Maybellene and Roll Over Beethoven

He leaves behind his wife Toddy and four children.

Tributes have tonight poured in for the music legend after the news broke earlier this evening. 

American singer, Huey Lewis, of Huey Lewis and the News, said: 'Chuck Berry. Maybe the most important figure in all of rock and roll. His music and his influence will last forever - Huey.' 

Meanwhile, songwriter Carole King, posted online: 'RIP Chuck Berry.'

A number of celebrities have tweeted to pay their respect to the musical legend, including One Republic, Stephen King, George Takei and John Stamos. 

He was a monumental influence on just about any kid who picked up a guitar with rock star aspirations - Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen among them.

CHUCK BERRY'S TOP 10 HITS 

  1.  Promised Land, 1964
  2. Johnny B Goode, 1958
  3. Maybellene, 1955
  4. You Never Can Tell, 1964
  5. Memphis, 1959
  6. Back in the USA, 1959
  7. Nadine (Is It You?), 1964
  8. Let It Rock, 1960
  9. School Day, 1957
  10. Downbound Train, 1956 

Bob Dylan called Berry 'the Shakespeare of rock'n'roll,' and he was one of the first popular acts to write as well as perform his own songs. They focused on youth, romance, cars and good times, with lyrics that were complex, humorous and sometimes a little raunchy.

Both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, as well as the Beach Boys and scores of others acts - even Elvis - covered Berry's songs. 

A police spokesman said: 'St. Charles County police responded to a medical emergency on Buckner Road at approximately 12.40pm today. 

'Inside the home, first responders observed an unresponsive man and immediately administered lifesaving techniques. 

'Unfortunately, the 90-year-old man could not be revived and was pronounced deceased at 1:26 p.m.

'The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry.

Chuck Berry (pictured with Michael Jackson in 1981) passed away at his home in Missouri on Saturday afternoon  Chuck Berry (pictured with Michael Jackson in 1981) passed away at his home in Missouri on Saturday afternoon 

Chuck Berry (pictured with Michael Jackson in 1981) passed away at his home in Missouri on Saturday afternoon 

THE MUSICAL COMMUNITY REACTS TO THE NEWS OF CHUCK BERRY'S DEATH  

Prominent musical artists such as the Rolling Stones, Ringo Starr, and Huey Lewis all tweeted about the passing of the rock icon. 

Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, who met and bonded over their love of Berry's music both tweeted separately. 

Mick Jagger wrote: '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. 

'He lit up our teenage years, and blew life into our dreams of being musicians and performers. 

'His lyrics shone above others and threw a strange light on the American dream. Chuck you were amazing and your music is engraved inside us forever.' 

Ringo Starr also tweeted, saying:  'R.I.P. and peace and love Chuck Berry Mr rock 'n' roll music.'

Berry had a unique sound with his fusion of blues and country and unique guitar style. He influenced a number of bands and artists, from the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead to James Taylor. 

His lyrics about sex, cars, music and trouble captured America's newfound post-war prosperity, and he once said: 'I made records for people who would buy them. No color, no ethnic, no political - I don't want that, never did.' 

Prominent musical artists such as the Rolling Stones, Ringo Starr, and Huey Lewis all tweeted about the passing of the rock icon Prominent musical artists such as the Rolling Stones, Ringo Starr, and Huey Lewis all tweeted about the passing of the rock icon

Prominent musical artists such as the Rolling Stones, Ringo Starr, and Huey Lewis all tweeted about the passing of the rock icon

'The family requests privacy during this time of bereavement.'   

He was one of the pioneers of rock and roll music and was born in St. Louis in October 1926. 

He came along at a time when much of the United States remained racially segregated, but it was hard for young audiences of any color to resist a performer who delivered such a powerful beat with so much energy and showmanship.

'Everything I wrote about wasn't about me, but about the people listening,' he once said.

'Johnny B. Goode,' the tale of a guitar-playing country boy whose mother tells him he'll be a star, was Berry's signature song, the archetypal narrative for would-be rockers and among the most ecstatic recordings in the music's history. 

Berry can hardly contain himself as the words hurry out ('Deep down Louisiana close to New Orleans/Way back up in the woods among the evergreens') and the downpour of guitar, drums and keyboards amplifies every call of 'Go, Johnny Go!'

The popular singer (pictured) was born in St. Louis in 1926 but was pronounced dead at his home earlier today  The popular singer (pictured) was born in St. Louis in 1926 but was pronounced dead at his home earlier today 

The popular singer (pictured) was born in St. Louis in 1926 but was pronounced dead at his home earlier today 

Chuck Berry, pictured at Heathrow Airport Chuck Berry, pictured at Heathrow Airport
Chuck Berry Chuck Berry

The rock and roll legend (pictured at Heathrow Airport, left) released his first album in 1957

The song was inspired in part by Johnnie Johnson, the boogie-woogie piano master who collaborated on many Berry hits, but the story could have easily been Berry's, Presley's or countless others'. 

Commercial calculation made the song universal: Berry had meant to call Johnny a 'colored boy,' but changed 'colored' to 'country,' enabling not only radio play, but musicians of any color to imagine themselves as stars.

'Chances are you have talent,' Berry later wrote of the song. 'But will the name and the light come to you? No! You have to go!'

Johnny B. Goode could have only been a guitarist. The guitar was rock 'n' roll's signature instrument and Berry's clarion sound, a melting pot of country flash and rhythm 'n blues drive, turned on at least a generation of musicians, among them the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards, who once acknowledged he had 'lifted every lick' from his hero; the Beatles' George Harrison; Bruce Springsteen; and the Who's Pete Townshend.

St. Charles County Police Department today announced that  Berry had died at his home in Missouri St. Charles County Police Department today announced that  Berry had died at his home in Missouri

St. Charles County Police Department today announced that Berry had died at his home in Missouri

Berry released his first album, After School Session, in May 1957.

He went on to record a further 18 studio albums. His 20th album, Chuck, is to be released later this year.  

His first number one, My Ding-a-Ling, topped the charts in 1972. 

Berry said he performed his signature bent-knee, head-bobbing 'duck walk' across more than 4,000 concert stages. 

THE DAY CHUCK BERRY PUNCHED KEITH RICHARDS IN THE FACE 

Keith Richards, pictured in 1991, once was given a black eye by Chuck Berry Keith Richards, pictured in 1991, once was given a black eye by Chuck Berry

Keith Richards, pictured in 1991, once was given a black eye by Chuck Berry

Keith Richards once had his eye 'painted black' by Chuck Berry, who believed the rocker was stealing his guitar full of cash. 

Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood spilled the beans during The Ronnie Wood Show on Absolute Radio in 2012. 

He said: 'I used to play with him quite a lot, and he’d always have to have the money up front in his guitar case and he’d leap straight from the stage with the guitar case full of money, throw it offstage and into the cab.

'Once Keith was there in the audience and Chuck came off stage and Keith ran up behind him, tapped him on the shoulder, at which Chuck turned round and went whack and smashed Keith in the eye, gave him a big black eye. 

'He said "What you do that for? I was only trying to say hello, Chuck"'.

It could have been the start of a nasty fight between the pair, but instead, Wood said, Richards was 'proud' of the black eye.  

Watch out for my right hook: Chuck Berry, left, once gave Keith Richards, right, a black eye after wrongly believing he was about to steal his money

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