After Chuck Berry's Death, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Star and Other Legends Pay Tribute
The influential musician died today at 90.
Chuck Berry, often called the 'father of rock 'n' roll,' died today in St. Louis. Police responded to a medical emergency and he could not be revived. Berry was 90 years old.
Berry is known in part for classic songs, such as "Johnny B. Goode," but mostly for inspiring some of the biggest names in music. In fact, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, once old school mates who'd lost touch, re-connected in part because of Chuck Berry, when Keith saw Mick holding one of the artist's records. In a famous letter to his aunt before the Rolling Stones hit it big, a 19-year-old Keith Richards gushes about playing guitar "Chuck style" and bumping into Mick. The Rolling Stones played its first gig around three months after that fateful meeting.
In fact, the list of legends Berry inspired reads like a 'Who's Who' of modern music and includes names such as Smokey Robinson, Joan Jett, Bob Seger, Roy Orbison and Stevie Wonder. John Lennon even once said, "If you tried to give rock and roll another name you might call it Chuck Berry."
Berry's influence was not limited to musicians. Even Carl Sagan was a fan. On Berry's 60th birthday, Sagan wrote him a special letter. In it, he said:
When they tell you your music will live forever,
you can usually be sure they're exaggerating. But
Johnny B. Goode is on the Voyager interstellar records
attached to NASA's Voyager spacecraft -- now two billion
miles from Earth and bound for the stars. These records
will last a billion years or more.
Upon hearing of his passing, top artists, leaders and even astronauts took to Twitter to pay their respects. For a sense of Berry's impact, take a look at their tributes.
I am so sad to hear about Chuck Berry passing - a big inspiration! He will be missed by everyone who loves Rock 'n Roll. Love & Mercy— Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonLive) March 18, 2017
The Rolling Stones are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Chuck Berry. He was a true pioneer of rock'n'roll & a massive influence. pic.twitter.com/RT4NZH3KeQ— The Rolling Stones (@RollingStones) March 18, 2017
Chuck Berry was not only a brilliant guitarist, singer and performer, but most importantly, he was a master craftsman as a songwriter. 2/3— The Rolling Stones (@RollingStones) March 18, 2017
When I was 10 years old and I dreamed every night of moving to America, Chuck Berry played the soundtrack. He rocked the world. RIP.— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) March 18, 2017
Chuck Berry was rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock 'n' roll writer who ever lived.— Bruce Springsteen (@springsteen) March 18, 2017
Just let me hear some of that rock 'n' roll music any old way you use it I am playing I'm talking about you. God bless Chuck Berry Chuck ? pic.twitter.com/XmwmaGzGpL— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) March 18, 2017
"He could play the guitar just like ringing a bell." We will miss you, Chuck Berry.— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 19, 2017
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. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/9zQbH5bo9V— Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) March 18, 2017
My profound respect and admiration to one of the founding fathers of rock and roll, who sadly passed today -- the late, great CHUCK BERRY— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) March 18, 2017
Rest In Peace Chuck Berry pic.twitter.com/mBIVYnOaCu— Tom Petty (@tompetty) March 19, 2017
His Johnny B. Goode is on Voyager 1 & 2 spacecraft. You were more than good Chuck. You will be missed. pic.twitter.com/uAg76o7O3Z— Bill Nye (@BillNye) March 18, 2017