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Virtuoso guitar legend Jeff Beck dead at 78

During his 50-year career in the music industry, Jeff Beck won eight Grammy Awards and collaborated with some of the most influential musicians in multiple eras. File Photo by A.J. Sisco/UPI
1 of 5 | During his 50-year career in the music industry, Jeff Beck won eight Grammy Awards and collaborated with some of the most influential musicians in multiple eras. File Photo by A.J. Sisco/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Jeff Beck died at 78 on Wednesday after a short bout with bacterial meningitis.

Beck's death was confirmed by a spokesperson through his official Instagram page.

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"On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck's passing. After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday. His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss," a post on Instagram said.

Beck was inducted into the hall of fame as a solo artist in 2009 and, before that, as a member of the English rock band The Yardbirds in 1992. Former bandmate Jimmy Page inducted him into the hall of fame in 2009.

A virtuoso on a six string, Beck was known as a one-man, one-instrument orchestra because of his dazzling speed and musical vocabulary. He picked up a guitar at 15 and never put it down.

Throughout his 50-year career in the music business, Beck earned eight Grammy awards, including the award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for his song "Escape" that appeared on his 1985 album Flash.

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He was known as a rock and metal pioneer, but Beck's music did not conform to any genre. "Escape" is an electronic, percussive fusion of rock and jazz music. The Yardbirds, on the other hand, developed from rock and blues into a formative psychedelic rock band.

Beck has collaborated with a wide range of artists from Kate Bush to Jon Bon Jovi. He also worked with Pink Floyd singer Roger Waters, who once considered recruiting him for the band. He released 17 studio albums and 11 live albums, many from his solo project the Jeff Beck Group, along with many more compilations and albums to which he contributed.

Most recently, Beck released the album 18 in 2020. The album was a combination of original material and cover songs.

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Lee Sun-kyun arrives at a photocall for "Parasite" during the Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes, France, on May 22, 2019. The South Korean actor died at the age of 48 on December 27. Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

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