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Rock pioneer Bo Diddley dies at age 79

June 2, 2008, 12:25 PM EST

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Bo Diddley, a founding father of rock 'n' roll whose distinctive "shave and a haircut, two bits" rhythm and innovative guitar effects inspired legions of other musicians, died Monday after months of ill health. He was 79.

Diddley died of heart failure at his home in Archer, Fla., spokeswoman Susan Clary said. He had suffered a heart attack in August, three months after suffering a stroke while touring in Iowa. Doctors said the stroke affected his ability to speak, and he had returned to Florida to continue rehabilitation.

The legendary singer and performer, known for his homemade square guitar, dark glasses and black hat, was an inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, had a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, and received a lifetime achievement award in 1999 at the Grammy Awards. In recent years he also played for the elder President Bush and President Clinton.

This was another in a long line of great musicans lost.

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all hail bo diddley.

if you ever lived in chicago and loved music, you ran into bo diddley somewhere. he still had it, even in his later years. he hated record companies, loved his audience, and was very supportive of artists of all races who mined similar veins and paid respect and homage.

a list here of songs he influenced would take a whole page, but here are a few:

not fade away-buddy holly

magic bus-the who

hush-deep purple

willie and the handjive-johnny otis

i want candy-the strangeloves

she's the one-bruce springsteen

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