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.
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."
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.
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.