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Rock’n’roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis has died aged 87, his agent has confirmed.

In a statement, Lewis’s publicist Zach Farnum said: “He was there at the beginning, with Elvis, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, and the rest, and watched them fade away one by one till it was him alone to bear witness, and sing of the birth of rock’n’roll.”

After a recent bout of flu, Lewis died at this home in Desoto County, Mississippi, with his seventh wife, Judith, by his side. “He told her, in his final days, that he welcomed the hereafter, and that he was not afraid,” Farnum added.

In a statement on Facebook, Linda Gail Lewis said: “I can’t believe my big brother is gone, my world will never be the same again. From the first moment I opened my eyes he’s been my protector and inspiration. As a child I grew up watching him play piano in our house and developing his distinctive piano and vocal style that would change the world only a few years later. Jerry is the one that first took me into the studio, made me sing my first notes and record my first record at 15, “Seasons of my Heart”, as a duet with him . I owe him my entire career and my life to him! Every unforgettable experience, every song we sang together, every stage we shared on the road for over two decades will never be forgotten by me, and hopefully not anyone that was there.

“The world has lost a light that we’ve been blessed with for 87 years. I hope, in my own my humble way, I can keep my brother’s memory alive and as long as I can breathe, every breathe will be a tribute to his legacy, the greatest piano player, singer and brother the world has ever known. God bless you Jerry Lee Lewis, I love you!”

Also on Facebook, Wanda Jackson said: “For a good while now, Jerry Lee Lewis and I were the only ones living of the original rock’n’rollers of the 50s. Now, it only leaves me. Jerry was one of our great entertainers and I loved hearing his rock’n’roll songs, but oh my, what he did to a country ballad was incredible! The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum finally inducted him! I’ll never forget Jerry Lee going to church with me while we were touring Canada, and he and I sharing a hymn book. I’ll miss you, old friend. Every day.”

Numerous tributes have been paid on Twitter from fellow rock’n’roll icons.

Elton John said: “Without Jerry Lee Lewis, I wouldn’t have become who I am today. He was groundbreaking and exciting, and he pulverised the piano. A brilliant singer, too. Thank you for your trailblazing inspiration and all the rock’n’roll memories.”

Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood tweeted “R.I.P. JLL the KILLER – What a man.” while Ringo Starr added: “God bless Jerry Lee Lewis. Peace and love to all his family”.

The Country Music Association tweeted: “It is with great sadness we’ve learned about the passing of Jerry Lee Lewis, who was just inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this month. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

We will carry a full tribute to Jerry Lee in the next issue of Vintage Rock magazine.