Rock ’N’ Roll Legend Chuck Berry Dies At 90
According to Huffington Post, the rock ’n’ roll pioneer’s death was confirmed on Saturday by the Missouri police which took to their Facebook to share the news.
“The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry,” said the police in a statement posted to Facebook. They also added that first responders were called to a home on Buckner Road at around 12:40 p.m. where they found the singer unresponsive. They “immediately administered lifesaving techniques,” but were unable to revive him.
Berry was pronounced dead at 1:26 p.m.
The legend rose to fame following a number of hit songs he wrote in the 1950s and 1960s, some of which includes “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Rock and Roll Music”, songs that went on to influence the following generations of rock groups, including The Beatles. Berry defined the rock ’n’ roll genre and would later get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
Huffington Post reports that Chuck Berry was born into a middle-class family in St. Louis, Missouri, and he learned to play the guitar from a neighbour. He began performing as a teenager, and by 1952, he formed the singing trio with Johnnie Johnson who played the piano and Ebby Harding on drums. They played at nightclubs, while at daytime, Berry worked as a hairdresser.
Berry bounced to the spotlight after their song ‘Ida Red’, later changed to ‘Maybellene’, was recorded by Chess Records and played by an influential New York DJ. The song became a hit.
Chuck Berry became a famous voice and would tour the country with his guitar. However, trouble came with the fame because of the colour of his skin; he had a large cult of fans, mostly young white girls, and this sparked racial attacks. Berry always had to take refuge at a police station because of white protesters who have a problem with his influence on young white fans. Later, Berry served two years in prison after a teenage girl who worked at a club alleged that the singer had an affair with her.
But that was not all the trouble Berry faced. He was again sent to prison in 1979 on tax evasion charges. Later, a raid at a recording compound he owned “turned up a stash of marijuana and images of Berry with nude women ― including one underage ― but charges were later dropped.”
Chuck Berry lived the rest of his years away from the headlines. He performed gigs at a local restaurant in Laude, Missouri.
He was 90.
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