Rock ‘n’ roll father Chuck Berry dead at 90

Chuck Berry, pictured in 2003, won cheering crowds with his consummate showmanship, including his "duck walk" across stage, and lyrics that celebrated youthful freedom (AFP Photo)

New York - 

Chuck Berry, one of the creators of rock ‘n’ roll who helped shape modern youth culture with his dance-ready rhythms but who struggled to overcome institutional racism, died on Saturday.

He was 90. Police in the St Louis area, where Berry was born and lived most of his life, said that first responders found the guitar legend unresponsive when they answered an emergency call at his home.

The middle-class son of a carpenter and a high school principal, Berry grew up under segregation but instinctively sensed how to bridge the racial divide.

Berry had played blues guitar but found that his white audience was more interested in country.

He merged the styles with an electric energy and consummate stage showmanship, although he hesitated to say that he created rock ‘n’ roll.

Chuck Berry inspired a whole generation of musicians including Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger and The Beatles.

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