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Rock guitar pioneer Les Paul dies:
Les Paul, whose pioneering electric guitars were used by a legion of rock stars, has died at the age of 94.

Mr Paul died from complications of pneumonia in New York, according to Gibson, the firm that sold his guitars. He is credited with developing one of the first solid-body electric guitars, which went on sale in 1952 and contributed to the birth of rock. He also developed other influential recording innovations such as multi-track recording and overdubbing. And he was credited with inventing the eight-track tape recorder.

Innovator
U2 guitarist The Edge, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, Guns N' Roses star Slash and the Sex Pistols' Steve Jones are among those closely associated with the Les Paul sound. Henry Juszkiewicz, chairman of Gibson Guitar, said: "His influence extends around the globe and across every boundary."

Gibson president Dave Berryman said: "As the 'father of the electric guitar', he was not only one of the world's greatest innovators but a legend who created, inspired and contributed to the success of musicians around the world." He was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

Les Paul began as a country and jazz musician, playing with acts such as Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole. Unhappy with acoustic guitars, he designed his solid-body electric guitar in 1941. It did not go on sale for another 11 years, by which time Leo Fender's rival model was already on the market. Mr Paul continued to refine his guitar design throughout the 1950s, while also working on other technical innovations. He first used multi-tracking - where separate recordings are combined - in the 1950 number one hit How High the Moon, a duet with his future wife Mary Ford.

Les Paul's guitars were played by stars like Sir Paul McCartney
Les Paul began as a country and jazz musician. Photo: Gene Martin