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Jeff Beck, Guitarist Maestro, And Rock Legend Dies At The Age Of 78

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Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck, the influential guitarist who rose to rock and roll stardom with the 1960s supergroup the Yardbirds and later wanted a prolific solo career, has died, his official website said Wednesday. He was 78 years old.

A guitar virtuoso and creator who was also one of the world’s fantastic rhythm and blues interpreters, Beck died “peacefully” after a sudden bout of bacterial meningitis.

“On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing. After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday,” a statement on the English-born musician’s website said.

“His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”

Beck’s death fast reverberated around the music globe, with accolades flowing in from rock icons like Ozzy Osbourne, with whom Beck once collaborated, and Kiss lead singer Gene Simmons, who called Beck’s death “heartbreaking.”

“He was quiet as moccasined feet, yet mercurial, innovative, impossible to categorize,” wrote punk-poet laureate Patti Smith. “One of the masters of my generation.”

“A guitarist in the highest sense.”

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