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Chuck Berry's family says final album brought rock pioneer 'great sense of joy'

The family of rock pioneer Chuck Berry says it will soon announce details regarding the final album the guitarist was working on before his death.

“Working to prepare the release of this record in recent months and in fact over the last several years brought Chuck a great sense of joy and satisfaction,” the statement read.

On Saturday Berry died in his native St. Louis at the age of 90.

Last fall, in conjunction with his 90th birthday, Berry announced the release of his first new album in nearly 40 years.

Titled “Chuck,” the record was said to largely feature new songs written and produced by Berry. It will serve as the follow-up to 1979’s “Rock It.”

“This body of work stands with the best of his career and will further cement Chuck as one of the greatest icons of rock and roll,” said Paul Roper in a statement, the president of Dualtone Records, which is releasing the project.

Berry is quoted as saying, “This record is dedicated to my beloved Toddy,” the nickname for his wife of 68 years, Themetta Berry. “My darlin’ I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”

Berry’s family said release plans have been in place “for months now” and details regarding the album will be unveiled this week along with some of the music. The album will now serve as a tribute to the legendary musician.

“While our hearts are very heavy at this time, we know that Chuck had no greater wish than to see this album released to the world, and we know of no better way to celebrate and remember his 90 years of life than through his music.”

Times staff writer Randy Lewis controbuted to this report.

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gerrick.kennedy@latimes.com

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