Bo Diddley, legendary guitarist and founding father of rock & roll, died on Monday (June 2) after months of prolonged health issues. He was 79.
Diddley died of heart failure in his Archer, Florida home. He had suffered a heart attack in August, three months after suffering a stroke while touring in Iowa; he had returned to Florida for rehabilitation.
Not only was Diddley's voice and 5/4 rhythm approach instantly recognizable, so was his homemade square guitar, dark sunglasses and black hat. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in January 1987, received a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, and was awarded a lifetime achievement award at the 1999 Grammy Awards.
Diddley was born Ellas Otha Bates in McComb, Mississippi on December 30, 1928. He would later take the name McDaniel after being adopted by his mother's cousin. Diddley's family moved to Chicago as a youngster, where he first learned the violin and picked up guitar at age 10.