Bo Diddley dies

Bo Diddley, one of the fathers of rock'n'roll, has died in Florida at the age of 79.

Bo Diddley, one of the fathers of rock'n'roll, has died in Florida at the age of 79.

Diddley, whose signature "hambone" beat provided one of the original and most enduring rhythms in rock, built the foundations from which many musicians - including the British invasion bands of the 1960s - have built.

A spokeswoman for the singer confirmed that Diddley had died of heart failure. He had suffered a heart attack in August 2007, three months after suffering a stroke while touring. Doctors said the stroke affected his ability to speak, and he had returned to Florida to continue rehabilitation.

His first, eponymously titled single introduced record buyers in 1955 to his signature rhythm. The b-side, I'm a Man, with its slightly humorous take on macho pride, also became a rock standard.

Diddley's influence on modern music continued long after the initial explosion of rock'n'roll. Songs such as David Bowie's Panic In Detroit, Bruce Springsteen's She's the One and the Pretenders' Cuban Slide all wear his influence. More recently, hip hop artists such as Mos Def have namechecked him (the track Rock'n'roll claimed his influence was underestimated: "Elvis Presley ain't got no soul/Bo Diddley is rock and roll/You may dig on the Rolling Stones/But they ain't the first place the credit belongs") whereas Jack White's band the Raconteurs currently cover his track Who Do You Love.

The legendary singer and performer, was known for his homemade square guitar, dark glasses and black hat. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and was still playing live in recent years.


Paul MacInnes

The GuardianTramp

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