Rock 'n' roll pioneer Bo Diddley, who banged out hit songs powered by the relentless "Bo Diddley beat" that influenced rockers from Buddy Holly to U2, died on Monday at the age of 79. Diddley died of heart failure at his home in Archer, Florida, his management agency, Talent Consultants International, said in a statement. "One of the founding fathers of rock 'n' roll has left the building he helped construct," the statement said. Diddley suffered a stroke during a concert in Iowa in May 2007 and was hospitalised in Omaha, Nebraska. In August 2007 he had a heart attack in Florida. In a career spanning more than five decades, Diddley composed a substantial body of rock classics, including Who Do You Love, Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley's a Gunslinger, Before You Accuse Me, I'm a Man, Pretty Thing and Mona.
He cranked them out on a signature rectangular guitar, setting many of them to rumba-like rhythm of his Bo Diddley beat that gave rock 'n' roll a powerful rhythmic foundation. Although Diddley recorded relatively few chart-topping hits, his seminal role in the formative years of rock music was recognised by his induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and with a Grammy lifetime achievement award in 1998. Diddley's unique guitar playing and rhythm influenced generations of rockers from Elvis Presley to Bon Jovi. Keith Richards and Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones and Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi made guest appearances on his records and Diddley played with the likes of The Clash and The Grateful Dead.
Posted: 3rd. June 2008