Page last updated at 09:44 GMT, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 10:44 UK

Jagger pays tribute to Bo Diddley


Archive footage of Bo Diddley performing

Singer Mick Jagger has paid tribute to singer-guitarist Bo Diddley as an "enormous force in music" and "a big influence on the Rolling Stones".

Jagger said the US rock 'n' roll pioneer, who has died at the age of 79, was "a wonderful, original musician".

US blues legend BB King was among other stars to honour Diddley. King said his legacy would "live on forever".

Diddley, who was known for his homemade square guitar, dark glasses and black hat, died of heart failure in Florida.

This royal shape shifter continues to influence four generations of musicians on a daily basis
Robert Plant

He had a heart attack in August 2007, three months after suffering a stroke which affected his ability to speak.

Jagger, whose band recorded cover versions of Mona and Crackin' Up, said: "He was very generous to us in our early years and we learned a lot from him.

"We will never see his like again."

King, 82, said his Grammy-winning contemporary was "a music pioneer and legend with a unique style".

"We always had a good time when we played together," he added.

Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant said Diddley's "voice and relentless, glorious anthems echo down through my years".

Without him, the history of music would not have developed as it has
Singer Richard Hawley

"This royal shape shifter continues to influence four generations of musicians on a daily basis," he added.

And Neil Portnow, chief of Grammy organisers the Recording Academy, praised "one of rock 'n' roll's true pioneers".

In 1997, his 1955 song Bo Diddley was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame while, a year later, he was awarded the Grammy lifetime achievement award.

"He leaves an indelible mark on American music and culture and our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends and fans," Mr Portnow said.

"The Bo Diddley beat surely will continue on."

'Myth created'

Other stars to pay tribute to Diddley include Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash, The Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr and UK singer Richard Hawley.

The Rolling Stones

Hawley told BBC 6 Music: "Without him there wouldn't be any music, the kind of history of music would not have developed as it has."

And Slash told "He's a huge hero of mine and the fact that he knew who I was was a huge compliment.

"Bo Diddley created a myth that was uniquely his own.

"An entire rhythm is owed to just one guy and that's pretty rare."

Diddley rose to fame in 1955 when he topped the R&B charts with Bo Diddley.

His other hits include Who Do You Love, Before You Accuse Me, and Mona.

His so-called "Bo Diddley beat" influenced rockers from Buddy Holly, to Bruce Springsteen and U2.

Musician Bo Diddley dies aged 79
02 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
Diddley 'changed face of music'
03 Jun 08 |  Entertainment

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