NEW ORLEANS – Legendary New Orleans musician Fats Domino has passed away.
The Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office said Domino died of natural causes at his home in Harvey at 3:30 a.m. on October 24.
The musical pioneer, born Antoine Domino, Jr. in New Orleans in 1928, has been battling health issues for several years.
Domino pioneered the use of the triplet in popular music, banging out three notes on his piano when contemporary musicians were sticking to one.
His distinctive sound and unforgettable voice can be heard on countless classic R&B and early Rock ‘n’ Roll songs, from “Ain’t That a Shame,” to “Blueberry Hill,” “Walking to New Orleans,” and “Let the Four Winds Blow.”
In a statement, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards payed tribute to Domino and expressed his sorrow at Domino’s passing.
“The passing of Fats Domino is a great loss to music fans across Louisiana and the world,” Edwards said. “To this day, he is adored by people of all ages, from all walks of life and musicians from all genres. That is a testament to his skills as a pianist and as a songwriter. Known as a legend and one of the greatest recording artists of all times, there’s no denying that when he played a song he transformed it into something spectacular. Our hearts are heavy today, but we will always remember his love for life and New Orleans through his iconic music. Donna and I send our prayers and condolences to his family.”
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called Domino one of the most beloved musicians to ever come out of New Orleans.
“For a city known for its incredible, talented musicians, Fats Domino ranked among the all-time greats,” Landrieu said. “We have lost an incredible music and New Orleans icon. My thoughts and prayers are with his family in this tough time, and he will be sorely missed.”
Born and raised in the Ninth Ward, Domino narrowly escaped Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters in 2005.
In 2013, restoration was completed on a piano from Domino’s home that was nearly destroyed in the flood.
“The morning of Hurricane Katrina, the first thing you saw when the water came in was the piano turned over. It flipped over,” Fats’ daughter Andonica Domino said at the time.
Repairs costs $30,000 and the money came from several sources including retired music producer Allan Slaight and Sir Paul McCartney as well as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Tipitina’s Foundation.
Stay tuned to WGNO for more information on this developing story.