MCCOMB, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi is dedicating a highway to a blues and rock legend who sang about being a "road running man."

A state law this year named a seven-mile (11-kilometer) stretch of Interstate 55 the Bo Diddley Memorial Highway. It's in his native Pike County, near the Louisiana line.

A dedication ceremony was held Thursday in McComb.

Born Ellas Bates in December 1928, he was adopted by his mother's cousin and became Ellas McDaniel. He said grammar school classmates in Chicago nicknamed him Bo Diddley.

His distinctive rhythms and electric guitar distortion influenced a host of rock artists.

Diddley was a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee known for songs including "I'm a Man," ''Hey! Bo Diddley" and "Road Runner." He was 79 when he died in Florida in 2008.