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Les Paul, 94, a guitarist and inventor who changed the course of music with the electric guitar, multitrack recording and a string of hits, died today in White Plains, N.Y.

“Without Les Paul, we would not have rock and roll as we know it,” said Terry Stewart, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. “His inventions created the infrastructure for the music and his playing style will ripple through generations. He was truly an architect of rock and roll.”

“Les Paul was truly a unique human being,” said Jim Henke, vice president of exhibitions and curatorial affairs. “He was an artist who made his mark as a tremendously influential guitarist. He was also an inventor, the man responsible for the solid-body electric guitar and multi-track recording. Few people have accomplished as much as Les did in his legendary career. We will truly miss him.”

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honored Les Paul for the 13th annual American Music Master’s series in Cleveland – November 15, 2008.

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