Who is Themetta Suggs?
Themetta Suggs is an American celebrity, best known to the world as the wife of icon Chuck Berry, often credited as the Father of Rock ‘N’ Roll.
The Untold Truth
There is not much known about Themetta, popularly known as Toddy, outside her married life with Chuck Berry. Themetta’s age, birthplace, and educational background all remain unknown to the media.
The two married in 1948, and remained married until he died in 2017 from natural causes. She has outlived him, along with their four children, Ingrid, Charles Berry Jr., Melody Exes, and Aloha Berry.
Chuck’s last studio album “Chuck” – released in 2017 – was dedicated to her and their children. She wasn’t just his wife, but also an inspiration and a muse. After they married, Berry started playing guitar and left the life of crime he previously led, having spent three years in the Intermediate Reformatory for Young Men outside of Jefferson, Missouri. She stood by his side through all the troubles that later followed and never thought of leaving him.
Themetta inherited Chuck’s fortune, and according to reports, Themetta Sugg’s net worth is estimated at around $19 million as of early 2022. There have been rumours of her passing in 2021, but this is unconfirmed.
Themetta Sugg’s Husband, Chuck Berry’s Biography
Born Charles Edward Anderson Berry on 18 October 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri USA, he was the youngest child of Henry William Berry, a contractor and deacon of a Baptist church, and Martha Bell a certified public school principal.
From an early age, he was interested in music and made his first live performance in 1941 when he was still a student at Sumner High School, but the life of crime took a hold of him and he was arrested in 1944 for an armed robbery as he broke into three shops in Kansas City, Missouri and also began an auto theft with some of his friends.
He was sent to the Intermediate Reformatory for Young Men at Algoa where he spent three years, during which he formed a singing quartet. Upon release in 1947, he held various jobs to support himself and his newly formed family, but kept his music dreams alive.
He was performing with several local bands in clubs in St. Louis as a source of extra income and took guitar lessons from his friend Ira Harris, which was the beginning of his recognizable style.
Berry started working with several popular artists of the time, including Johnnie Johnson’s trio, then Joe Alexander & the Cubans.
He was slowly earning a name for himself as a musician, but he was still tied to his criminal life that marred his popularity.
However, hits such as “Roll Over Beethoven”, “School Days”, “Sweet Little Sixteen”, “Johnny B. Goode”, and “Go, Johnny, Go!” turned him into a star of the ‘50s. He toured the US extensively, despite the racial wars, but in 1962 was sentenced to a year and a half in prison after he was found guilty of having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old Apache waitress Janice Escalante.
Once he was out of prison, he continued to release new music, creating such hits as “You Never Can Tell”, “Nadine”, and others.
As his popularity increased, Chuck began touring the world, performing around Europe and becoming a global star Everybody wanted to play with him, so Chuck didn’t have trouble finding support acts on his tours. His last tour days were in 2011, and prior to this, he performed in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Ireland, Poland, Spain, and the UK, all in 2008, before ending his tour with a concert at the Virgin Festival in Baltimore.
During his career, Berry released 20 studio albums, including “Rockin’ at the Hops” (1960), then “Two Great Guitars” a duo with Bo Diddley, released in 1964, “Back Home” (1970), “Rock It” (1970), and “Chuck” (2017), which featured his children, Ingrid, and Chuck Jr.
He released over 30 compilation albums, such as “The Best of Chuck Berry” (1996), “Anthology” in 2000, and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Music – Any Old Way You Choose It- The Complete Studio Recordings… Plus!” (2014), among others. His hit singles topped the rock and R&B charts numerous times, such as “My Ding-a-Ling”, which is the only single since his first hits from the late ‘50s to top the charts.
He faced a number of legal problems throughout his life, but Themetta remained by his side until his death.
He was sued by several women in 1990, all claiming that he had a video camera in the bathroom of his restaurant. After a court hearing, he opted for a class action settlement, and according to Bruce Pegg who was one of the people who worked on Berry’s autobiography, claimed that 59 women filed charges against him, which would come to more than $1.2 million, additional to legal fees.
Chuck was found unresponsive at his house near Wentzville, Missouri, on 18 March 2017.
The ambulance rushed to the scene but the emergency workers couldn’t revive him, and he was pronounced dead by his personal physician.
His funeral was held on 9 April 2017 at The Pageant, in Berry’s hometown of St. Louis; he was interred in a mausoleum in Bellerive Gardens Cemetery in St. Louis.
Credited to have influenced many, Berry’s legacy lives on, and his songs have been covered by numerous class acts of modern music, including the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, AC/DC, and Electric Light Orchestra, among others.