‘There is no replacing him’: Remembering New Orleans icon Fats Domino

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NEW ORLEANS — “This is like if Mount Everest fell into the ocean. There’s other mountains, but not this one.”

It’s no surprise that the outpouring of love for Fats Domino, 89, has trickled in from all over the world since news of his death spread throughout the day.

The musical pioneer, born Antoine Domino, Jr. in New Orleans in 1928, died in Harvey surrounded by his family.

He was best known for his hits “Blueberry Hill,” “Ain’t That A Shame,” “Blue Monday,” “I’m Walkin’,” and many more.

“We are all touched by the outpouring of love and tribute for our father,” his children said in a statement. “He passed away peacefully at home surrounded by those he loved and those who loved him. His music reached across all boundaries and carried him to all corners of the world. We thank you for allowing us to grieve privately during this difficult time.”

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest Producer Quint Davis remembers Domino as one of two New Orleanians who changed the history of music worldwide. For Davis, it was Domino and Louis Armstrong.

“I mean, you can talk about when he hit (stardom) in the ’50s, but that didn’t just happen. He was playing here in the ’30s and ’40s and, playing that barrel house, stomping piano stuff,” Davis said. “He molded that into one of the founders of American music and rock and roll.”

Born and raised in the Ninth Ward, Domino narrowly escaped Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters in 2005.

Domino had 11 top 10 Billboard hits throughout his career, but Davis says no matter how famous he got, Domino was a true gentleman, “he wasn’t like this superstar,” he said.

“There is no replacing him. There’s a big hole in our universe,” Davis said.


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