Chuck Berry, a man everyone except the youngest people out there will always remember doing the above, has died at 90 after being found unresponsive in his St. Louis home.
Police confirmed they responded to a medical emergency Saturday at 12:40 p.m. at Berry's St. Louis home. Berry was found to be unresponsive and, in spite of life-saving measures that were administered, he was declared dead at 1:26 p.m., according to police.
The department issued a statement that read, “The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry. The family requests privacy during this time of bereavement.”
Berry's “Johnny B. Goode” (1958) became his signature hit, and would later liven up Back to the Future (1985):
Berry was also the hitmaker behind iconic tunes like “Maybellene” (1955), “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956) and “You Never Can Tell” (1964), the latter of which you may remember from Pulp Fiction (1994):
Berry wrote the tune in prison in 1962 while serving what wound up being 20 months of a three-year sentence for transporting a 14-year-old girl from Mexico to his nightclub for what he said was a job, but what she said — after being fired — was really a sexual arrangement. Regardless of Berry's guilt or innocence, he felt railroaded by the all-white jury and emerged, according to fellow rocker Carl Perkins, an embittered man.
In the '80s and '90s, Berry's sexual proclivities — an obsession with making and watching porn, a predilection for heavy scat — became the stuff of legend, as documented by Vice via this sordid fax to the late Bob Guccione Sr.
Nevertheless, Berry's career prospered and he never stopped performing. He would go down in history as among the first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and was the subject of a Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, at which he was congratulated by President Bill Clinton in 2000.
His final album — his twentieth — is set for release in 2017. He said in December he was dedicating Chuck to his wife of almost 70 years, Thelmetta, a woman he reportedly hadn't lived with in decades.