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At 90, Chuck Berry to release first new album in four decades

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Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry performs during the Bal de la Rose in Monte Carlo, Monaco on March 28, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo
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Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry performs during the Bal de la Rose in Monte Carlo, Monaco on March 28, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo
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Musician Chuck Berry (L) shakes hands with musician Elvis Costello as Paul Simon (C) applauds during the 2012 Awards for Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. on February 26, 2012. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi/File Photo
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Rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry celebrated his 90th birthday on Tuesday by announcing that his first album of new music in 38 years would be released next year.

Called simply "Chuck," the album will consist mostly of new, original material recorded and produced by Berry, his record company said.

Berry's children, Charles Berry Jr. on guitar and Ingrid Berry on harmonica, form part of his backing band on the record. The specific date of the album's release was not mentioned.

"What an honor to be part of this new music," Berry Jr. said in a statement. “The St. Louis band, or as dad called us the Blueberry Hill Band, fell right into the groove and followed his lead. These songs cover the spectrum from hard-driving rockers to soulful thought-provoking time capsules of a life's work."

Berry said he was dedicating the new album to his wife of 68 years, Themetta. "My darlin’ I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!” the musician said in a statement.

With songs like "Maybellene," "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Johnny B. Goode" in the late 1950s, Berry helped lay the foundation for modern rock music and was a major influence on scores of 1960s bands, including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

The St. Louis, Missouri, songwriter and guitar player was given a Grammy lifetime achievement award in 1984 and was in the first class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees in 1986.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bill Trott)

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