Considered as one of the founding fathers of rock 'n' roll, Charles Edward Anderson Berry, The Chicago bluesman, who has died aged 90, basically invented rock.
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.
Berry's recording of the song "Johnny B. Goode" was included on NASA's Voyager Golden Record, attached to the Voyager spacecraft as representing rock and roll, one of four American songs included among many cultural achievements of humanity.
"If you tried to give rock 'n' roll another name," Lennon once said, "you might call it 'Chuck Berry'." 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 focused on youth, romance, cars and good times, with lyrics that were complex, humorous and sometimes a little raunchy.
Paying tribute to Berry on Twitter on Saturday, Springsteen called him "rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock 'n' roll writer who ever lived." Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger tweeted: "Chuck you were amazing & your music is engraved inside us forever."
His death came five months after Berry announced plans to release his first album of new music in 38 years some time in 2017 - a collection of mostly original material recorded and produced by Berry, titled "Chuck" and dedicated to his wife of 68 years,
Berry was born Oct. 18, 1926, the third of six children whose father was a contractor and church deacon and whose mother was a schoolteacher. They lived in a relatively prosperous black section of St. Louis known as the Ville.
In the first of his brushes with the law, Berry was sent to a reformatory as a teenager for armed robbery. And he was released age 21, in 1947. On October 28, 1948, Berry married Themetta "Toddy" Suggs, who gave birth to Darlin Ingrid Berry on October 3, 1950. Berry supported his family by taking various jobs in St. Louis, working briefly as a factory worker at two automobile assembly plants and as a janitor in the apartment building where he and his wife lived. Afterwards he trained as a beautician at the Poro College of Cosmetology, founded by Annie Turnbo Malone. He was doing well enough by 1950 to buy a "small three room brick cottage with a bath" on Whittier Street,which is now listed as the Chuck Berry House on the National Register of Historic Places.