When the St. Charles County Police Department in Missouri confirmed rock n' roll legend Chuck Berry's death on its Facebook page earlier today, the internet was heartbroken. A beloved musical pioneer, Mr. Berry died at his home near Wentzville, Mo.
The internet reacted immediately, with famous fans from all industries expressing thanks, sorrow, and joy that Mr. Berry had lived a long and prolific musical life. "Chuck Berry died. This breaks my heart, but 90 years old ain't bad for rock and roll. Johnny B. Goode forever." wrote writer Stephen King, on Twitter.
Mr. Berry, who remained in good health until recently, played well into his 80s, keeping it local as he aged and playing in low-key bands. He liked to play with other famous musicians at times, too, reported the New York Times, which recalled earlier today Mr. Berry's 1995 performance with Bruce Springsteen and the E. Street Band at the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
Mr. Berry, born Charles Edward Anderson Berry, was born on October 18, 1926. His music will live on both in the hearts and minds of famous musicians who called him a friend, as well as music lovers everywhere. His smash hit song “Johnny B. Goode” was sent, on golden record, into space on the Voyager I spacecraft in 1977, where it remains.
While some of his biggest songs were classic jump-up-and-dance hits like “Johnny B. Goode” and “Roll Over Beethoven,” he also gave his fans a cheeky chuckle with "My Ding-a-ling", a silly song that appealed to innocent children and adults' blue sense of humor alike.
Saturday afternoon, musicians from Ringo Starr to Lenny Kravitz sang his praises on Twitter.
"Just let me hear some of that rock 'n' roll music any old way you use it I am playing I'm talking about you. God bless Chuck Berry Chuck", tweeted the Beatles' Ringo Starr.
Guns N Roses' Slash added that he was "Heart broken to hear of the passing of Chuck Berry. He was undisputedly the king. A moment of. instagram.com/p/BRzBlKTBSu0/".
"Hail Hail Chuck Berry!!!" tweeted, in a reference to Berry's song "Hail Hail Rock n' Roll". "None of us would have been here without you. Rock on brother! instagram.com/p/BRzBbf0Fo5c/".
"RIP Chuck Berry. Without him Rock n Roll wouldn't be what it came to be. instagram.com/p/BRzA-bpDNY7/", tweeted rocker Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crue.
From rockers to country musicians, Mr. Berry was clearly beloved.
"RIP Chuck Berry !!!! Thank you for the poetry, the passion and the potency! GO JOHNNY GO. - KU", tweeted country singer Keith Urban. Charlie Daniels, a fellow music legend, called Berry "The greatest rock and roll lyricist ever" and hoped he would "rest in peace".