June 03, 2008

Artists, Industry Salute Bo Diddley

In honor of Bo Diddley, who died yesterday at age 79, an array of tributes have come from throughout the music world:

“Bo Diddley was a music pioneer and a legend with a unique style. We always had a good time when we played together, but his legacy will live on forever."
– B.B. King, Los Angeles Times

"He was a wonderful, original musician who was an enormous force in music and was a big influence on The Rolling Stones. He was very generous to us in our early years and we learned a lot from him. We will never see his like again."
– Mick Jagger, NME

"Bo Diddley was a monumental figure in early rock 'n' roll, a huge influence on everyone. He was a wonderful man, a true original musician and beloved the world over. He will be sorely missed."
– Bonnie Raitt, USA Today

"A Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Bo Diddley was one of rock 'n' roll's true pioneers. He inspired legions of musicians with his trademark rhythm and signature custom-built guitar, and his song "Bo Diddley" earned a rightful place in the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame. He leaves an indelible mark on American music and culture, and our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends and fans. The 'Bo Diddley beat' surely will continue on.”
– Neil Portnow, President/CEO, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences

“[His] voice and relentless, glorious anthems echo down through my years. This royal shape shifter continues to influence four generations of musicians on a daily basis,"
– Robert Plant, Sound Generator

"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."

– Slash, NME

"[He was] one of the true pioneers of rock and roll, and an underrated songwriter. His influence can still be heard everywhere."
– Billy Corgan, NME

"Bo's one of the guys who invented rock 'n' roll. He took two cultures that existed in separate forms -- country and western and the kind of blues that used to be known as 'race music' -- and put them together.”

– Eric Burdon, Los Angeles Times

"Bo Diddley is one of the seminal American guitarists and an architect of the rock and roll sound. His unique guitar work, indelible rhythms, inventive songwriting and larger-than- life personality make him an immortal author of the American Songbook."

– Terry Stewart, President/CEO, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

"Listening to Bo Diddley, you could convince yourself that the only thing you need to create great rock 'n' roll is a tremolo guitar, a killer beat and one and a half chords. Many tried and some have failed, but nobody did it like Diddley."

– Elvis Costello, USA Today