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‘One of the all-time guitar masters’: Tributes pour in after rock legend Jeff Beck dies

Tributes have been pouring in from high-profile figures in the music industry following the death of rock legend Jeff Beck at the age of 78.

The iconic musician died on Tuesday after suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, his family said in a statement.

Musicians from across the world have been paying tribute to the Grammy award-winning guitarist from Surrey, who rose to prominence with rock band The Yardbirds and went on to have a successful solo career that incorporated hard rock, jazz, blues and even opera.

He released his first solo single, Hi Ho Silver Lining, in 1969 – and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice – first as a member of The Yardbirds in 1992 and later as a solo artist in 2009.

Beck won a total of eight Grammy awards during the course of his career, and released a collaborative album with Johnny Depp last year after the Hollywood actor made a flurry of public appearances ahead of the verdict of his defamation battle with ex-wife Amber Heard – joining Beck on stage at gigs in Sheffield and London.

“Jeff was such a nice person and an outstanding iconic, genius guitar player – there will never be another Jeff Beck,” Tony Iommi, guitarist for Black Sabbath wrote on Twitter.

Ronnie Wood, who played with Beck in the Jeff Beck Group, said that he felt one of his “band of brothers has left this world”.

Sir Rod Stewart said Beck was “on another planet” and described him as “the greatest”.

“He took me and Ronnie Wood to the USA in the late 60s in his band the Jeff Beck Group and we haven’t looked back since,” he wrote on Instagram.

The Rolling Stones frontman Sir Mick Jagger said music had lost “one of the greatest guitar players in the world” in his online tribute to Beck, as he shared a video of the pair playing together.

“We will all miss him so much,” Jagger said.

Rock legend and Queen guitarist Sir Brian May said Beck was “the absolute pinnacle of guitar playing” and a “damn fine human being”.

“Gutted, so sad, to hear of Jeff’s passing. He was the Guv’nor. He was inimitable, irreplaceable – the absolute pinnacle of guitar playing,” he said on Instagram.

“And a damn fine human being. I’m sure I will have a lot to say, but right now… Just lost for words. Bri. #jeffbeck.”

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the band Kiss also expressed their sadness at the news.

The band’s bassist, Simmons, said the news was “heartbreaking”, adding, “No one played guitar like Jeff”.

Stanley, Kiss’s frontman, described Beck as “one of the all-time guitar masters”.

Genesis lead guitarist Steve Hackett described Beck as “a powerful influence on myself and many others”.

He tweeted: “Devastating news about the loss of much loved, influential guitar legend Jeff Beck.

“He made the electric guitar sing… a powerful influence on myself and many others.”

British rock star Ozzy Osbourne said it had been “such an honour” to know and play with him on his most recent album.

“I can’t express how saddened I am to hear of @JeffBeckMusic’s passing,” the Black Sabbath frontman tweeted.

“What a terrible loss for his family, friends & his many fans.

“It was such an honour to have known Jeff & an incredible honour to have had him play on my most recent album, #PatientNumber9. Long live #JeffBeck.”

US rock band Hollywood Vampires, comprising of Depp, Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and Tommy Henriksen, also paid tribute to Beck via social media, describing him as a “true innovator”.

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend and guitar legend Jeff Beck,” the band tweeted.

Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys singer and co-founder, also recalled fond memories of touring with Beck in 2013.

“I’m so sad to hear about Jeff Beck passing,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Jeff was a genius guitar player, and me and my band got to see it close up when we toured with him in 2013.

“One of the highlights we did was ‘Danny Boy’ – we both loved that song. Love & Mercy to Jeff’s family.”

The Smiths guitarist, Johnny Marr, tweeted: “RIP Jeff Beck. A pioneer and one of the all-time greats. #jeffbeck.”

The rock star had recently finished touring his latest album 18, which he recorded with Depp.

A family statement posted on the musician’s official Twitter page read: “It is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing.

“After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday.

“His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”

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