Guitar icon Les Paul dead at 94


Les Paul, the legendary guitarist and inventor who changed the course of rock music, died from complications due to pneumonia at White Plains Hospital in New York on Thursday. He was 94.

His family and friends were at his bedside at the time of his passing.

Paul is considered the “father of the electric guitar” for his invention of the Gibson Les Paul, one of first solid-body electric guitars. He also developed the multitrack recording and tape delay.

Paul had been a dominant force in the music business since the World War II. His sound was influenced by Django Reinhardt but he went on to have a profound effect on the music of many stars.

Primarily a jazz-pop musician, the rock ‘n’ roll icon’s pioneering techniques influenced guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page.

He earned 36 gold records and 11 No. 1 hits with his second wife, Mary Ford, from 1949 to 1962, and won two Grammys for “Les Paul & Friends: American Made, World Played,” which was released after his 90th birthday.