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Guitarist Jeff Beck dies after suddenly contracting bacterial ...

Guitarist Jeff Beck dies after suddenly contracting bacterial
Once called "the best guitar player on the planet", Jeff Beck played with Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart and the Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood in a career spanning seven decades.

Guitarist Jeff Beck — who pushed the boundaries of blues, jazz and rock 'n' roll — has died, aged 78. 

Key points:
  • Jeff Beck has died after suddenly after contracting bacterial meningitis
  • He won eight Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, twice
  • Beck was called "the best guitar player on the planet″

Beck died on Tuesday after "suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis", his representatives said in a statement on Wednesday, local time.

"On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing," they said on Twitter. 

It was not mentioned where  Beck died.  

Beck, who was born in England, influenced generations of musicians and was known as the guitar player's guitar player. 

Beck first came to prominence as a member of the Yardbirds before a solo career that incorporated hard rock, jazz, funky blues and opera.

Beck was among the rock-guitarist pantheon that included Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix.

He  won eight Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice — once with the Yardbirds in 1992 and as a solo artist in 2009.

He was known for his improvising, love of harmonics and the whammy bar on his preferred guitar, the Fender Stratocaster.

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"Jeff Beck is the best guitar player on the planet,″ Aerosmith lead guitarist Joe Perry told The New York Times in 2010.

″He is head, hands and feet above all the rest of us, with the kind of talent that appears only once every generation or two."

His first hit single, Beck's Bolero, released in 1967, featured future Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, and future Who drummer Keith Moon.

The Jeff Beck Group — with Rod Stewart singing — was later booked to play the 1969 Woodstock music festival but their appearance was cancelled. 

Beck liked an "element of chaos in music".

"That feeling is the best thing ever, as long as you don't have too much of it," he told Guitar World in 2014.

"It's got to be in balance."

Legends honour 'guitar master'

Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones has taken to Twitter to pay tribute to Beck saying he felt like one of his "band of brothers" had left the world.

"I want to thank him for all our early days together in Jeff Beck Group, conquering America," he said. 

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Rod Stewart said he and Wood had "not looked back" since touring with Beck in the late 1960s. 

"He was one of the few guitarists that when playing live would actually listen to me sing and respond," Stewart said. 

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Mick Jagger shared a video of the two performing on stage together in tribute to a "wonderful man and one of the greatest guitar players in the world". 

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Ozzy Osbourne said he could not express how sad he was to hear of Beck's passing. 

"It was such an honor to have known Jeff & an incredible honor to have had him play on my most recent album," he said on Twitter. 

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Kiss frontman Paul Stanley also took to Twitter to pay tribute to Beck as "one of the all time guitar masters". 

"He blazed a trail impossible to follow," Stanley said. "Play on now and forever." 

Bacterial meningitis is caused by bacteria that lives in the nose and throat, which can enter the blood stream and spread to the membrane surrounding the brain, causing meningitis.

Beck is survived by his wife, Sandra Cash.

AP

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