Duane Eddy, who became the first true guitar hero of the modern musical era, has died. Variety reports that Eddy died in the Nashville suburb of Franklin, Tenn., on Tuesday (April 30) at the age of 86.

Born in Corning, N.Y., on April 26, 1938, Eddy began playing guitar at the age of five. He would go on to pioneer a unique "twangy" guitar sound that saw him playing melodies on the instrument's bass strings.

Eddy released his first single, "Movin' n' Groovin'," in early 1958, and his next single, "Rebel-'Rouser," gave him his breakthrough hit, reaching No. 6 and selling more than a million copies.

Eddy went on to a long string of influential singles, including "Cannonball," "Forty Miles of Bad Road," "Because They're Young" and more. He scored an iconic hit with "Peter Gunn" in 1960, and his influence extended well beyond rock music; members of his band went on to help form the backbone of the Wrecking Crew, a group of Los Angeles-based musicians who played on all of the top sessions and helped define recorded music in the '60s and '70s.

In addition to his solo career, Eddy worked as a producer and player with artists including Waylon Jennings and B.J. Thomas, among many others. Country artists including Steve Earle and Marty Stuart acknowledged his influence on their own work, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum celebrated his influence on country music in 2016 as part of its Nashville Cats series.

"Instrumentalists don’t usually become famous. But Duane Eddy’s electric guitar was a voice all its own," Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young says in a press release. "His sound was muscular and masculine, twangy and tough. Duane scored more than thirty hits on the pop charts.

"But more importantly, his style inspired thousands of hillbilly cats and downtown rockers — the Ventures, George Harrison, Steve Earle, Bruce Springsteen, Marty Stuart, to name a few — to learn how to rumble and move people to their core. The Duane Eddy sound will forever be stitched into the fabric of country and rock & roll.”

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Duane Eddy in 1994.

The Arizona Republic reports that Eddy died "peacefully" on Tuesday, "surrounded by friends and family members."

His cause of death has not been made public, and no funeral plans have been announced.

Variety has published an in-depth tribute to Eddy's life and career.

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