Fat Domino, the New Orleans musician whose hit variations of “Blueberry Hill” and “Ain’t Disgrace” had been a part of the opening salvo of rock ‘n’ roll within the 1950s, has died on the age of 89.
The demise was introduced by his daughter, who shared the information with native tv outlet WWLTV early Wednesday morning. The Louisiana State Coroner’s Affiliation later confirmed to PEOPLE that the musician had died Tuesday. The reason for demise stays unavailable at the moment.
“We’re all touched by the outpouring of affection and tribute for our father,” his household stated in a press release. “He handed away peacefully at residence surrounded by these he liked and those that liked him. His music reached throughout all boundaries and carried him to all corners of the world.
…Then I rock myself to sleep
Prayin’ that I’m right here to maintain
Then I journey the rising solar
Gee ain’t I being a fortunate one
We thanks for permitting us to grieve privately throughout this tough time. Funeral preparations are pending.”
Whereas nascent R&B had coalesced across the Mississippi Delta for at the very least a era earlier than, Domino’s music helped deliver what was then generally known as “race music” to mainstream—predominantly white—tradition. All through the subsequent decade he would mark an astonishing run of greater than three dozen Prime 40 hits. Promoting greater than 65 million singles, it was a industrial streak bested solely by Elvis Presley.
Born Antoine Domino Jr. in New Orleans’ Decrease ninth Ward on Feb. 26, 1928, the Creole French musician pioneered a boogie-woogie piano fashion that might turn out to be the bedrock of rock. “What they name rock ‘n’ roll is rhythm and blues,” he admitted in a 1956 profile. “And I’ve been taking part in it for 15 years in New Orleans.”
His data impressed generations of performers—most notably John Lennon, who stated that Domino’s “Ain’t Disgrace” was the primary music he ever discovered find out how to play. Fellow Beatle Paul McCartney later wrote “Woman Madonna” as an affectionate tribute to Domino, and Presley as soon as dubbed him “the actual king of rock n roll.”
Rising up listening to his father taking part in violin, he took to music early. Having been taught piano at age 10 by his brother-in-law, jazz musician Harrison Verrett, Domino dropped out of faculty a short while later to play native bars at evening. “Again then I used to play all people’s data; all people’s data who made data,” he instructed Offbeat journal in 2004. “I used to listen to ’em, hear at ’em 5, six, seven, eight occasions and I may play it similar to the report as a result of I had a great ear for catchin’ notes and various things.”
By day he supported himself working a sequence of strange jobs, together with stints at a bedspring manufacturing facility and as an assistant at an ice supply service. “Within the homes the place individuals had a piano of their rooms, I’d cease and play,” he instructed USA Right this moment in 2007. “That’s how I practiced.”
It was throughout this time that he was given his distinctive nickname by bandleader Invoice Diamond—a remark much less on his bodily dimension however his piano fashion, which recalled that of Fat Waller and Fat Pichon.
By the mid-’40s he had teamed with trumpeter Dave Bartholomew, who would show an necessary collaborator. Collectively they penned what could be Domino’s first hit, “The Fats Man,” a sanitized model of a drug-addled R&B normal referred to as “Junkers Blues.” Launched in 1949, it will ultimately promote over one million copies.
Together with his flamboyant, bejeweled vogue sense, laid-back vocal supply and, after all, his girth, Domino turned one in every of rock ‘n’ roll’s most seen and distinctive early stars, showing at DJ Alan Freed’s well-known revues, and on selection exhibits helmed by early tv titans Ed Sullivan and Steve Allen. He additionally had temporary roles in movies like Shake, Rattle and Rock, The Massive Beat and The Woman Can’t Assist It—standard rock motion pictures aimed on the burgeoning teen market.
In 1956 he scored his largest hit with an amped up model of “Blueberry Hill,” an previous musical chestnut that had been popularized by the swing bandleader Glenn Miller over a decade earlier. Domino adopted up this success with a pair of Prime 5 songs, “Blue Monday” and “I’m Walkin’.”
The pop hits continued into the ’60s with “Entire Lotta Lovin’,” “I’m Gonna Be a Wheel Sometime,” “Walkin’ to New Orleans” and “My Woman Josephine.” His model of “Woman Madonna”—the Beatles music he impressed—marked an applicable finish to his string of Sizzling 100 entries, however he continued to be a drive on the Nation charts for a few years.
In honor of his immense affect to music, the portly piano-playing prodigy was honored with an induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Corridor of Fame in 1986, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987. He declined to attend both ceremony, preferring to remain in his native New Orleans.
He refused to depart even on Aug. 29, 2005, when Hurricane Katrina introduced havoc to town. Rumors shortly unfold that Domino had died within the aftermath, with one misinformed fan spray-painting the message “RIP Fat. You Will Be Missed” on the aspect of his residence. Nevertheless, the star had survived the destruction and was ferried away by members of the family in a ship.
He retired from music in 2007, however remained a well-recognized presence across the metropolis in his eye-catching pink Cadillac—and his matching pink-roofed home. “I simply drink my little beers, do some cookin’, something I really feel like ” he instructed London’s Every day Telegraph in 2007.
Stars and notables took to social media to mourn the lack of the music icon.
Wow. I really had NO concept #FatsDomino had been with us this whole time til now! I’d have in all probability made an effort to see him carry out. Man. 89 years on earth. God bless his life. rip to the pioneer Fat Domino!
“Phrases fail me on this second of deep heartache and unhappiness,” wrote Wendell Pierce. “We now have misplaced a legend. Considered one of my heroes. New Orleans’ Fat Domino is useless.”
- Reporting by SARAH MICHAUD