Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry dies at 90

"And these are the things I write about", Berry told CBS News in a 1972 interview.

Berry's signature rhythm and guitar riffs - and showmanship - defined early rock and roll, building a template that would be used by future generations of musicians with lyrics that addressed the spirit of youth.

In a candid biography, Berry admitted being dragged into the police station for assorted crimes, including robbery and having sex with a 14-year-old waitress.

Born Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr, he was often called the "Father of Rock "n" Roll".

Berry's music would become the worldwide language of a new generation of musicians who took inspiration and direction from his riffs and words.

The Rolling Stones called Berry a "massive influence", and frontman Jagger wrote a personal note of thanks to the rocker on Twitter, alongside a snap of himself and Berry in the 1960s.

Bruce Springsteen hailed Berry as the greatest rocker of all time. "He was one of the first household names when it came to rock and roll".

Both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones covered Berry's songs, as did The Beach Boys and scores of other acts - including Elvis.

British rock icon Rod Stewart said Berry "inspired us all".

Berry came along at a time when much of the United States remained racially segregated, but it was hard for young audiences of any color to resist a performer who delivered such a powerful beat with so much energy and showmanship.

He said he invented the move as a child in order to make his mother laugh as he chased a ball under a table.

He was best known for songs such as "Johnny B. Good", "Maybellene", "Roll Over Beethoven", "Sweet Little Sixteen", "School Days", "Rock and Roll Music", "Back in the U.S.A." and "Memphis, Tennessee".

Berry was born October 18, 1926, the third of six children whose father was a contractor and church deacon and whose mother was a schoolteacher.

He received a lifetime achievement Grammy in 1984 and was among the first inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

"His music and influence will last forever", he added.

  • Salvatore Jensen