Chuck Berry was one of the most influential rock ‘n’ roll performers in music history. He’s known for songs including “Maybellene” and “Johnny B. Goode. orn on October 18, 1926, in St. Louis, Missouri, Chuck Berry had early exposure to music at school and church. As a teen, he was sent to prison for three years for armed robbery. He began producing hits in the 1950s, including 1958′s “Johnny B. Goode,” and had his first No. 1 hit in 1972 with “My Ding-a-Ling.” With his clever lyrics and distinctive sounds, Berry became one of the most influential figures in the history of rock music. Berry died on March 18, 2017 at the age of 90.
Berry still remains one of the genre’s most influential musicians. In 1985, he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. A year later, in 1986, he became the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s first inductee. Perhaps the best measure of Berry’s influence is the extent to which other popular artists have copied his work. The Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles have all covered various Chuck Berry songs, and Berry’s influences—both subtle and profound—pervade all of their music. Introducing Berry at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones said, “It’s very difficult for me to talk about Chuck Berry ’cause I’ve lifted every lick he ever played. This is the man that started it all!” On his 90th birthday in October, the music legend announced that he had plans to release a new album dedicated to Themetta, whom he called Toddy, his wife of 68 years. “This record is dedicated to my beloved Toddy,” he said in a statement. “My darlin’, I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”