Chuck Berry, one of the gods of Rock and Roll, has died at age 90. Berry, who was one of the musicians who shaped the genre and popular music as we know it, is survived by his wife and their four children – Darlin Ingrid Berry-Clay, Aloha Berry, Charles Berry Jr. and Melody Exes Berry-Eskridge.
Berry’s never-ending list of classic songs include “Rock And Roll Music,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “Maybellene,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Memphis,” “My Ding A Ling” and his signature tune “Johnny B. Goode.” Two of his children, Ingrid and Charles, followed him into the music business. Ingrid plays harmonica, while Charles plays guitar.
Ingrid is Berry’s eldest child, turning 66 in October 2016. Melody was born in November 1952 and is 64. Aloha was born in August 1959 and is 57. Charles Jr. was born in August 1961 and is 55.
Here’s a look at Berry’s four children.
1. Berry Died on March 18 at Age 90
The St. Charles County Police Department in Missouri announced that Berry died at 1:26 p.m. CT on March 18.
The department said that an ambulance was called to his home at 12:40 p.m. CT The legendary guitarist was found unresponsive and the emergency medical response team tried to revive him. Berry was pronounced dead at 1:26 p.m. CT.
“The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry,” the statement reads. “The family requests privacy during this time of bereavement.”
2. Berry Was Married to Their Mother for Nearly 70 Years
Berry was married to their mother, Themetta “Toddy” Suggs, for nearly 70 years. The two were married in October 1948. Their first child, Ingrid, was born in October 1950.
According to IMDb, Aloha Berry went to University City Senior High School, the same school rapper Nelly attended.
In a statement announcing the release of Chuck, which was announced on Berry’s 90th birthday in October 2016, Berry said that it is dedicated to Toddy.
“This record is dedicated to my beloved Toddy,” Berry said in a statement. “My darlin’, I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”
3. Charles Berry Jr. Was a Part of His Father’s Touring Band
Charles Berry Jr. was a member of his father’s touring band. When the St. Louis Dispatch interviewed Berry in 2012, Charles Jr. often had to repeat the questions because his father was hard of hearing at that point.
Despite his hearing difficulties, Berry insisted on not retiring. “That shall never be as far as I am able to see a little, hear a little and do but a little. I want to perform. It’s in my genes,” he told the Dispatch in 2012.
In a 2013 interview with Rock ‘n’ Roll TV, Charles Jr. said that he has no favorite Chuck Berry song. “I love all of them. He’s got 278 songs and whatever he starts playing, we’re gonna do it and we’re gonna enjoy it, man.”
4. Ingrid & Charles Appeared on Their Father’s Last Album
In October 2016, Berry celebrated his 90th birthday by stunning the world with an announcement that he was making his first album since 1979. According to Rolling Stone, Charles Jr. and Ingrid both appeared on the record, playing guitar and harmonica, respectively
“What an honor to be part of this new music,” Charles Jr. said in a statement. “The St. Louis band, or as dad called us ‘the Blueberry Hill Band,’ fell right into the groove and followed his lead. These songs cover the spectrum from hard driving rockers to soulful thought provoking time capsules of a life’s work.”
The album, titled Chuck, was scheduled for release in 2017.
In a 2014 interview with the Riverfront Times about a series of performances Berry gave, Ingrid recalled how her father began telling a story while his guitar was being restrung. She explained:
He was playing at Blueberry Hill and broke a string. As the guitar was being restrung, he took out this roll of tissue from his pocket. Nothing was written on the tissue, but he started unrolling it like a scroll and pretending to read from it. He told this beautiful story about a poor man in the South who was writing to his relative up North who’d gone to seek work and send money home. Dad is doing this off the top of his head, mind you, and I’m onstage looking on in utter amazement. I don’t know what you’d call this type of inventive and poetic storytelling, but I refer to it as the “rags to riches letter.”
5. Berry Once Stopped a Show Because His Daughter Reportedly Ticked Him Off
In July 2008, The Telegraph reported from Madrid that Berry once skipped a show at the last minute because he was “sulking” after arguing with his daughter. The report doesn’t mention which daughter this was, but Ingrid often traveled with her father.
“They apparently rowed because she did not allow him to drive as fast as he would have liked on the British roads,” a Spanish newspaper reported at the time.
One of the organizers threatened legal action because of Berry’s sudden decision.
“We had no time to react. We found out he wasn’t coming one hour before the concert, and just because we called them up. Otherwise, we’d still be waiting,” a spokesman for Br Music, the organizer of the show, told the Telegraph at the time.
Read more about Chuck Berry’s family in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com: