After Chuck Berry's Death, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Star and Other Legends Pay Tribute

The influential musician died today at 90.
After Chuck Berry's Death, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Star and Other Legends Pay Tribute

Chuck Berry performing on stage.

Image credit: Getty Images. Photo by Echoes/Redferns)
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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.

Edition: June 2017

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