BBC ONLINE. 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.
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”. “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.”