He will be missed….
Songwriter, producer and revered New Orleans R&B performer Allen Toussaint has died aged 77 after suffering a heart attack, according to reports.
Toussaint died on Monday 9 November in Spain while on tour with his performance quartet, according to Louisiana station WWL-TV, and had played his last show in Madrid on Monday evening.
Toussaint was next scheduled to perform in Antwerp on Thursday 12 November and in London on Sunday 15 November, before returning to the US at the end of the month.
Last week, non-profit organisation New Orleans Artists against Hunger and Homelessness announced Toussaint and musician Paul Simon as acts confirmed to play an annual benefit concert on 8 December. Toussaint co-founded the organisation in 1985 alongside Neville Brothers lead vocalist Aaron Neville, in a bid to help homeless and impoverished citizens of New Orleans.
Beyond his philanthropic work, Toussaint was a legendary fixture of New Orleans R&B. Born in New Orleans on 14 January 1938, he started his musical career as an apprentice to composer, bandleader and producer Dave Bartholomew, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Toussaint then came into his own as a session musician, before becoming a songwriter and producer affiliated with record labels Minit and Instant.
Toussaint wrote hit R&B songs for the likes of Neville, Ernie K-Doe, The Showmen and Irma Thomas and collaborated with Joe Cocker and Paul McCartney, among many others.
His songs often found new life when performed or covered by other artists. He was responsible for Lee Dorsey’s Working in the Coal Mine, Fortune Teller, covered by the Rolling Stones and Benny Spellman, K-Doe’s Mother-in-Law, Southern Nights, covered by Glen Campbell, and Ruler of My Heart, famously recorded by Thomas.
Toussaint was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and made a Grammy awards trustee in 2009.
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