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Fans continue to pay tribute to musical legend Chuck Berry

Berry, the architect of rock 'n' roll, died at his home in Missouri at the age of 90 on Saturday.

Chuck Berry fans pay tribute to him at his statue on 19 March, 2017 in University City, Missouri. The rock 'n' roll pioneer died on Saturday at the age of 90 at his home in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. Picture: AFP.

NEW YORK – Fans continue to mourn the passing of Chuck Berry as details about the release of the last album he recorded are being finalised.

Berry, the architect of rock 'n' roll, died at his home in Missouri at the age of 90 on Saturday.

The debut single off Chuck Berry’s first new studio album in nearly 40 years was just a few weeks away from being released when the musician died.

His latest album was announced on his 90th birthday in October last year and Billboard magazine reports the owner of a music club where Berry used to perform says the album is quite sensational.

Berry’s impact on contemporary music is being remembered through the tributes the head of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which Berry was inducted into in during its inaugural year of 1986, says anybody’s who’s picked up a guitar has been influenced by him.

Police in St Charles County, outside St Louis, said they were called to Berry’s home by a caretaker and found him unresponsive. Efforts to revive him failed and he was pronounced dead at 1:26 pm local time.

Considered one of the founding fathers of rock ‘n’ roll, Charles Edward Anderson Berry was present at its infancy in the 1950s and emerged as its first star guitarist and songwriter, a nearly 30-year-old black performer whose style electrified young white audiences and was emulated by white performers who came to dominate American popular music.

Although Elvis Presley was called the king of rock ‘n’ roll, that crown would have fit just as well on Berry’s own carefully sculpted pompadour.

Berry hits such as Johnny B. Goode, Roll Over Beethoven, Sweet Little Sixteen, Maybellene and Memphis melded elements of blues, rockabilly and jazz into some of the most timeless pop songs of the 20th century.

He was a monumental influence on just about any kid who picked up a guitar with rock star aspirations, Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen among them.

Bob Dylan called Berry “the Shakespeare of rock ‘n’ roll,” and he was one of the first popular acts to write as well as perform his own songs. They focussed on youth, romance, cars and good times, with lyrics that were complex, humorous and sometimes a little raunchy.

Both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, as well as the Beach Boys and scores of other acts, even Elvis, covered Berry’s songs.

“If you tried to give rock ‘n’ roll another name,” Lennon once said, “you might call it Chuck Berry.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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