Music News: Stars pay tribute to Chuck Berry


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CHICAGO - JANUARY 01: Chuck Berry performs at the Congress Theater on January 1, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images) (Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images)

Stars from across the music firmament are paying tribute to Chuck Berry, the rock and roll legend who died this weekend at age 90.

"The Rolling Stones are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Chuck Berry," said the band in a statement. "He was a true pioneer of rock 'n' roll and a massive influence on us. Chuck was not only a brilliant guitarist, singer and performer, but most importantly, he was a master craftsman as a songwriter. His songs will live forever."

"He lit up our teenage years, and blew life into our dreams of being musicians and performers," added Mick Jagger. "His lyrics shone above others and threw a strange light on the American dream. Chuck, you were amazing, and your music is engraved inside us forever." (Billboard)

"He taught me how to write rock and roll melodies, the way the vocals should go," said the Beach BoysBrian Wilson. "His lyrics were very, very good." (Rolling Stone)

"Chuck Berry was rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock 'n' roll writer who ever lived," tweeted Bruce Springsteen. "This is a tremendous loss of a giant for the ages."

"Thou Shall Have No Other Rock Gods Before Him," posted Questlove on Instagram. (Pitchfork)

"Heart broken to hear of the passing of Chuck Berry," posted guitar god Slash. "He was undisputedly the king."

"#RIP to one of rock 'n' roll's biggest innovators and a huge influence on The Doors," tweeted the California rockers.

"It started with Chuck Berry," tweeted Rod Stewart. "He inspired us all. The 1st album I bought was Chuck's 'Live at the Tivoli' and I was never the same."

"The first, the best, a friend," tweeted Gregg Allman. "Rest In Peace Chuck Berry." (Billboard)

Politicians likewise paid tribute. "Chuck Berry rolled over everyone who came before him," tweeted former president Barack Obama, "and turned up everyone who came after. We'll miss you, Chuck. Be good."

In a joint statement, Bill and Hillary Clinton said, "He made our feet move and our hearts more joyful. And along the way he changed our country and the history of popular music." (Billboard)

Remembering James Cotton

Another great of the legendary Chess Records label, harmonica player James "Superharp" Cotton, has died of pneumonia at age 81. Cotton is best-known for playing with Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, helping to establish his instrument as a central component of modern blues. Cotton's heavily amplified sound was an unmistakable influence on groups like the Allman Brothers and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Cotton also had a Grammy-winning solo career that started on Sun Records in 1954. (New York Times)

Chance spills the deets on deal

Chance the Rapper has revealed that he was paid $500,000 by Apple Music for a two-week window of exclusivity on his album Coloring Book last year. "I needed the money and they're all good people over there," said Chance, who decided to reveal the details of the deal in response to criticisms that his famously DIY career might not be as independent as it seems. "I think artist can gain a lot from the streaming wars as long as they remain in control of their own product."

The disclosure presented a rare window into the highly guarded world of deals among artists and streaming services. Apple Music declined to comment directly on the revelation, but in an interview last year, the service's Jimmy Iovine said he was proud of the partnership: "I think that Chance feels we delivered for him and we'll do even better next time." (New York Times)

Father John Misty releases more ironic music

Father John Misty, long ready to skewer music-industry conventions, has released three tracks on SoundCloud, simply titled "Generic Pop Song #3," "Generic Pop Song #9," and "Generic Pop Song #16." Misty has contributed to actual hit songs by Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, seemingly to his own surprise.

"I went crazy," said the artist about his contribution to Beyoncés "Hold Up," in an earlier interview. "[I] recorded a verse, melody and refrain that, unbelievably — when you consider how ridiculous my voice sounds on the demo — ended up making the record." (Rolling Stone)

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