Birth name: Ellas Otha Bates
Legal name: Ellas McDaniel, Ellas Otha Bates
Bo Diddley (December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008), born Ellas Otha Bates but changed as a child to Ellas McDaniel, was an American R&B and Chicago blues singer, guitarist, songwriter and music producer (usually as Ellas McDaniel). He was nicknamed The Originator, because of his key role in the transition from the blues to rock and roll, and influenced a host of artists, including Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, Eric Clapton, the Who, Jimi Hendrix and Parliament-Funkadelic.
He instigated a constant driving rhythm and biting electric guitar sound which he applied to a wide range of songs. His use of African rhythms and a signature beat, a simple five-accent hambone rhythm, is a cornerstone of hip hop, rock, and pop. In recognition of his achievements he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and a Grammy Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He is also recognized for his technical innovations, including his distinctive rectangular guitar.