The Rolling Stones have paid tribute to rock‘n’roll musician Chuck Berry as a “true pioneer” following his death at 90.
The singer and guitarist, known as the “Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, was pronounced dead at 1.26pm (6.26pm GMT) on Saturday, St Charles County Police Department said.
Music industry titans have reacted with sorrow at the death of Berry, who influenced stars from Elvis Presley to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
The Stones said they were “deeply saddened” by the news, and described him as “a true pioneer of rock’n’roll & a massive influence”.
Sir Mick Jagger also tweeted: “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 & threw a strange light on the American dream. Chuck you were amazing & your music is engraved inside us forever.”
Ronnie Wood said the guitarist’s death marked the “end of an era”, writing on Twitter: “He was one of the best and my inspiration, a true character indeed.”
Keith Richards wrote: “One of my big lights has gone out.”
US rocker Bruce Springsteen said: “Chuck Berry was rock’s greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock ‘n’ roll writer who ever lived.”
The Jacksons said: “Chuck Berry merged blues & swing into the phenomenon of early rock ‘n’ roll. In music, he cast one of the longest shadows. Thank You Chuck.”
And Bruno Mars tweeted “RIP Chuck Berry” as he shared a tribute from Lenny Kravitz, which said: “Hail Hail Chuck Berry!!! None of us would have been here without you. Rock on brother!”
Born in St Louis in October 1926, Berry attempted to emulate his musical heroes including Nat King Cole and Muddy Waters, according to the biography on his Facebook page.
At high school his first stage performance, of a Jay McShann song called Confessin’ The Blues, received a “thunderous applause”, the bio said.
He went on to become a celebrated musician, known for his energetic stage presence and his signature move – a one-legged hop called a “duck walk”.
Many of his songs, including Johnny B Goode, Maybellene and Memphis, have been much covered and taught to many a budding young guitarist.
In 1984 he was presented with a Grammy Award lifetime achievement prize and he was still touring as recently as 2014 and his website heralds his first new album in 38 years, which reportedly includes new material, as coming “soon”.