Ellas Otha Bates (December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008), known by his stage name Bo Diddley, was an American R&B vocalist, guitarist and songwriter (usually as Ellas McDaniel). He was also known as The Originator because of his key role in the transition from the blues to rock and roll, and rock, influencing a host of acts, including Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Parliament Funkadelic, The Velvet Underground, The Who, The Yardbirds, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Eric Clapton, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles, among others. He introduced more insistent, driving rhythms and a hard-edged electric guitar sound on a wide-ranging catalog of songs, along with African rhythms and a signature beat (a simple five-accent clave rhythm) that remains a cornerstone of hip hop, rock and pop. Accordingly, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and a Grammy Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He was known in particular for his technical innovations, including his trademark rectangular guitar.
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