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Bo Diddley Passes Away at 79

Rock and blues pioneer passes away in Archer, FL., after months of battling ill health.

Archers, Florida (June 2, 2008) -- Bo Diddley, legendary singer and guitarist, got the final call to play the big gig in the sky. After months of troubles with cardiac problems stemming from a heart attack and stroke he suffered this past year, Diddley died of heart failure in his home in Archer, FL., according to spokeswoman Susan Clary.

Starting his career not as a musician, but as a boxer, Otha Ellas Bates (Ellas McDaniel) received the name "Bo Diddley" while sparring in the ring. After hanging up the gloves, Diddley was influenced by acts like Louis Jordan, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters where he quickly adapted their styles and developed his own, distinct repertoire of musical achievements and contributions.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was best known for his homemade square guitar, vibrant shows and his ever-cool persona. In addition to his induction, Diddley was honored with a star on the Hollywood''s Walk of Fame and a lifetime achievement award in 1999 at the Grammy Awards not only for his musical prowess, but his ability to entertain the masses.

Emerging on the scene in 1955 with his self-titled single, "Bo Diddley," he brought a new style and rhythm to blues and rock music. With over 50 years of experience and dedication to improving music, Diddley will be missed by guitarists and showmen across the world.