Les Paul began as a country and jazz musician. Photo: Gene Martin
Guns N' Roses star Slash has paid tribute to guitar pioneer Les Paul, who has died aged 94, calling him "vibrant and full of positive energy".
Paul died from complications of pneumonia in New York, according to Gibson, the firm that sold his guitars.
In a statement Slash said: "He was an exceptionally brilliant man, musician, inventor, mentor and friend."
U2's The Edge, The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson and Billy Gibbons of band ZZ Top have also paid tribute to the musician.
Paul is credited with developing one of the first solid-body electric guitars, which went on sale in 1952 and contributed to the birth of rock.
He also developed other influential recording innovations such as multi-track recording, overdubbing and the eight-track tape recorder.
The Edge, who is closely associated with the Les Paul sound, called him a "legend of the guitar and a true renaissance man".
He added: "Les Paul disproves the cliche that you can only be famous for one thing.
"His legacy as a musician and inventor will live on and his influence on rock and roll will never be forgotten."
Fellow guitarist Joe Satriani called Paul "the original guitar hero," saying: "Les Paul set a standard for musicianship and innovation that remains unsurpassed."
Gibbons called him an "innovator, a groundbreaker, a risk taker, a mentor and a friend".
And US rock artist Joan Jett called Paul a "genius inventor, musical innovator, and a wonderful person".
She added: "I and everyone at Blackheart Records mourn the passing of our dear friend, Les Paul.
"Without the advances he pioneered, the recording sciences and the electric guitar would have been left years behind."
Paul was also a successful performer in his own right, notching up 11 number one singles and 36 gold discs with his wife Mary Ford.
He was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.