Bo Diddley Photography

Bo Diddley

Given the countless rock and blues songs that possess the “The Bo Diddley Beat,” it’s only fitting this legendary singer/guitarist is nicknamed “The Originator.” In fact, this Chicago bluesman is responsible for bridging the worlds of R&B and rock ’n’ roll in the 1950s and ’60s, rubbing off on the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix.

Along the way, Diddley amassed a multitude of smashes, including “Hey! Bo Diddley,” “I’m a Man,” “Pretty Thing,” “You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover,” and “Who Do You Love?” Besides their endless airplay, he continues to reach new generations thanks to frequent samples in hip-hop, including the Beastie Boys, Gorillaz, Method Man, and more.

Despite his advancing age, Diddley maintained an active recording career well into the 1990s and continued touring into the 2000s prior to his passing from heart failure in 2008. For his numerous contributions and role as one of the founding fathers of rock and roll, this icon is forever immortalized with Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the Grammys and the R&B Foundation, plus a slot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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