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Heavy Metal pioneer guitarist Jeff Beck dead at age 78
Jeff Beck, one of the most influential rock guitarists of all time, has died at the age of 78.
The British musician rose to fame as part of the Yardbirds, where he replaced Eric Clapton, before forming the Jeff Beck group with Rod Stewart.
His tone, presence and, above all, volume redefined guitar music in the 1960s, and influenced movements like heavy metal, jazz-rock and even punk.
Beck’s death was confirmed on his official Twitter page.
“On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing,” the statement said.
“After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday. His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”
Speaking when he was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the second time in 2009, Beck – said: “I play the way I do because it allows me to come up with the sickest sounds possible.”
Kiss bassist Gene Simmons was among those paying tribute, saying: “Heartbreaking news to report the late, great Jeff Back has sadly passed. No one played guitar like Jeff.”
Paul Stanley, the frontman of Kiss, also called Beck “one of the all time guitar masters”, adding: “From The Yardbirds and The Jeff Beck Group on, he blazed a trail impossible to follow. Play on now and forever.”