Chuck Berry Skips Polar Music Prize Ceremony Due To Illness

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August 27, 2014 | 7:26am EST

Rock ‘n’ roll legend Chuck Berry was unable to accept the 2014 Polar Music Prize in Sweden on Tuesday due to ill health.
The Johnny B. Goode singer, 87, was due to collect the prestigious award at a ceremony in the capital Stockholm but was too ill to travel from his home in St. Louis, Missouri.
Welsh rocker Dave Edmunds collected the accolade on Berry’s behalf and read a message from the rocker, saying, “My heart is in Sweden… I understand what a great honour it is to be a recipient. I am sorry that I am unable to travel and receive this personally.”
Rolling Stones star Keith Richards also paid tribute to Berry via video message, saying, “Chuck Berry, he just leapt out of the radio at me… I ate him basically, I mean I breathed him, it wasn’t just food, he was the air I breathed for many years when I was learning guitar and trying to figure out how you could be such an all-rounder… Such a great voice, such a great player and also such a great showman… it was all in one package.”
Opera and theatre director Peter Sellars also received the music honour. Both recipients were awarded more than $160,000 each as part of the prize.

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