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Duane Eddy: Pioneering American guitarist dies at 86

Duane Eddy: Pioneering American guitarist dies at 86

ABC/Disney/Getty Images Archive

Eddie (second from right) pictured in August 1958.


Guitarist Duane Eddy, best known for his harmonies on hits like “Rebel Rouser” and “Cannonball,” has died at the age of 86.

A representative for Eddie L. confirmed diverse On Wednesday, he died surrounded by his family.

Duane has inspired a generation of guitarists around the world with his distinctive and unmistakable “Twang” sound. He was the first rock 'n' roll guitar god, a truly humble and wonderful human being. “He will be sorely missed,” the rep told Variety.

CNN has reached out to Eddy's representatives.

The Grammy Award winner was born in Corning, New York, on April 26, 1938, and began playing guitar at the age of five.

Eddie rose to prominence in the 1950s and 1960s, with a number of hits including “Peter Gunn” and “Because They're Young”, showcasing his distinctive voice.

Terry White/Getty Images

Eddie in October 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Eddie's music has also been used in films such as “Natural Born Killers” (1994), “Forrest Gump” (1994), and “Broken Arrow” (1996).

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2008.

Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Eddie pictured in 1975.

“Duane Eddy’s voice will forever be woven into the fabric of country music and rock and roll,” Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, paid tribute in a statement.

“Players don't usually become famous. But Duane Eddy's electric guitar was a sound of its own. His voice was muscular and masculine, tense and powerful. Duane had more than thirty hits on the pop charts,” Young said.

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“But more importantly, his style inspired thousands of hill cats and downtown rockers — The Ventures, George Harrison, Steve Earle, Bruce Springsteen, and Marty Stewart, to name a few — to learn how to excite people and move them to their essence.”

Mark Humphrey/AP

Eddie on stage in September 2013.

Dave Davies, founding member of UK band The Kinks, paid tribute to X on Thursday.

“I'm in shock. Duane Eddy was one of my biggest influences. He was very important in so many ways books.

Eddie was known for playing guitars produced by the American brand Gretsch, which also posted a statement on X.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Duane Eddy. As a legendary guitarist, he inspired generations with his groundbreaking, sinuous sound and musical innovations mail.

“His voice will forever echo in the halls of rock and roll history.”

In 2012, Eddie told the music industry Publishing Music Radar states that aspiring musicians should listen to music and learn to play it for a few hours a day.

“You have to love music, you have to want to play so much that it hurts, and it has to be your passion,” he said.