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'He was a true pioneer': Rolling Stones lead tributes to rock legend Chuck Berry

It was announced late last night that Berry had died, aged 90.

Chuck Berry death Source: Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images

THE ROLLING STONES, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr and many others have paid their respects to rock n’ roll legend Chuck Berry who has died aged 90.

Berry became a sensation in the years after World War II as he brought together rhythm and blues, country guitar and a consummate stage showmanship.

His 1958 hit Johnny B. Goode was so influential and recognisable that the US space programme chose it to represent rock music for potential extraterrestrial listeners on the Voyager spacecraft.

His career was interrupted when he was arrested in 1959 under an obscure law for taking a 14-year-old girl across state lines for “immoral purposes.”

The Mann Act – the act under which Berry was charged – was a vague law designed to crack down on organised prostitution. However, its vague language led to it being applied selectively in a number of cases, including Berry’s.

Berry defended himself against allegations that he had slept with the young waitress. But he was convicted by an all-white jury and served a year and a half in prison.

He had a huge influence on some of the world’s most famous musicians and there has been an outpouring of respect paid by the musical community.

“The Rolling Stones are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Chuck Berry. He was a true pioneer of rock’n'roll & a massive influence,” the band wrote in a tweet.

Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger also paid tribute to Berry, crediting him as a huge inspiration.

US rockstar Bruce Springsteen called Berry “rock’s greatest practitioner”, saying his death was a “tremendous loss of a giant for the ages”.

Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr also tweeted his tribute to Berry.

Rock musician Lenny Kravitz, movistar Arnold Schwarzenegger and writer Stephen King were among the others to offer their condolences and pay their respect to the rock legend.

- © AFP, 2017 - With reporting from Cormac Fitzgerald

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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