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Chuck Berry News Round-Up: Cause of Death, More Tributes

Chuck Berry's death on Saturday (March 18) at the age of 90 was apparently from natural causes.

TMZ is reporting that Berry's personal physician will sign off on the death certificate, with no autopsy ordered after police were called to Berry's home near St. Louis and were unable to revive the rock legend. It's unclear what diseases Berry was suffering from, however.

In other Berry news:

* His family issued a statement saying that details about his final album, "CHUCK," and possibly some music from the set will be released this week. "Working to prepare the release of this record in recent months and in fact over the last several years brought Chuck a great sense of joy and satisfaction," according to the statement.

* Paul McCartney waited a minute before releasing a tribute to Berry, posting on his official web site: "Chuck Berry sadly passed away over the weekend. He was one of rock 'n' roll's greatest poets. He will be missed but remembered by everyone who ever loved rock 'n' roll. From the first minute we heard the great guitar intro to 'Sweet Little Sixteen' we became fans of the great Chuck Berry. His stories were more like poems than lyrics -- the likes of 'Johnny B Goode' or 'Maybellene.' To us he was a magician making music that was exotic yet normal at the same time. We learnt so many things from him, which led us into a dream world of rock n' roll music. Chuck was and is forever more one of rock n' roll'1s greatest legends all over the world. I was privileged to meet him in his home town St Louis when I played there on tour and it's a memory I will cherish forever. It's not really possible to sum up what he meant to all us young guys growing up in Liverpool but I can give it a try."

* Among the artists who paid tribute to Berry in concert with performances of "Johnny B. Goode" after his death were: KISS’ Gene Simmons, during his first-ever solo concert in Cleveland, Ohio; Green Day, in London, Ontario; Kenny Wayne Shepherd, with the Experience Hendrix Tour stop in St. Louis; and the Roots, whose Captain Kirk Douglas played a lengthy version of "Johnny B. Goode" during the group's performance at South By Southwest In Austin, Texas.


Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.