Chuck Berry, the rock and roll legend and the storyteller, who defined the music's joy and rebellion in such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," "Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven," died on Saturday at his home west of St. Louis at the age of 90.
Missouri's St. Charles County police said in a statement that the singer was found unresponsive at lunchtime on Saturday. The police added that attempts to revive Berry failed, and he was pronounced dead shortly before 1: 30 pm.
"Unfortunately, the 90-year-old man could not be revived and was pronounced deceased at 1:26pm," the statement said. The St. Charles County Police Department identified him as Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as Chuck Berry.
A statement on Berry's Facebook page said he "spent his last days at home surrounded by the love of his family and friends."
In October, the rock legend celebrated his 90th birthday and announced that he would be releasing a new album, "Chuck" in 2017. It was his first new album in 38 years. He dedicated it to his wife of 68 years, Themetta "Toddy".
Born on October 18, 1926, in St. Louis, Missouri, Berry popularized the rock and roll genre with 1950s hits including "Rock and Roll Music," "Johnny B. Goode," "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Maybellene". He fused blues, rockabilly and R&B into a sound that helped define the genre. He directly influenced the early music of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and The Kinks.
In his seven-decade career, Berry received a lifetime achievement Grammy in 1984 and was among the first inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. He also performed at inauguration events for both of Bill Clinton's presidencies.
Bill Clinton expressed his grief at the demise of the legendary musician. "Hillary and I loved Chuck Berry for as long as we can remember," the former president said in a statement Saturday night.
He added: "The man was inseparable from his music –- both were utterly original and distinctly American. He made our feet move and our hearts more joyful. And along the way he changed our country and the history of popular music. Chuck played at both my inaugurations and at the White House for my 25th Georgetown reunion, and he never slowed down, which is why his legend grew every time he stepped on stage. His life was a treasure and a triumph, and he'll never be forgotten. Our hearts go out to his family and his countless friends and fans."
Motown legends The Jacksons tweeted: "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."
Singer-songwriter Huey Lewis described him as "maybe the most important figure in all of rock and roll". He said: "His music and influence will last forever."
Ringo Starr, Beatles drummer quoted one of Berry's own lyrics on Twitter and said: "Just let me hear some of that rock 'n' roll music any old way you use it." He further added: "I am playing I'm talking about you."
Not only on this planet, Berry's music also made it into outer space. "Johnny B. Goode", the 1958 hit song is the only rock and roll song that was included on the so-called "Golden Record" affixed to the Voyager spacecraft, which was launched into the cosmos in 1977.