Rock & Roll Pioneer Fats Domino Dead At 89
Fats Domino, the New Orleans legend and pioneer of rock and roll, died peacefully in his home Tuesday (Oct. 24).
The Associated Press reports the musician, born Antoine Domino Jr., died of natural causes. He was surrounded by his family at his home in Harvey, Louisiana. While Domino credited his sound to his deep Creole roots in NOLA, his merge of bluesy compositions and piano melodies was revered as the early elements of rock and roll. Selling over 100 million albums, he made a splash in the genre with hits like, “I’m Walkin’,” ″Ain’t It a Shame,” ″Shake, Rattle and Roll,” ″Blueberry Hill.”
Inspiring the likes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Domino was rather humble about his impact on music. He was also subjected to white artists gaining popularity for singing his songs. Domino still got his acclaim.
He was one of the early inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with "Blueberry Hill" earning placement in the Library of Congress. His 1949 single, "The Fat Man" is also noted as the first rock record and he was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987.
The artist continued to release new and live albums throughout the 70's and 80's. The world was worried about Domino during Hurricane Katrina after it was reported he and his wife were missing. The two were saved from their home, but Domino lost many of the gold and platinum plaques commemorating his work.
"I ain't missin' nothin’," Domino said at the time, Rolling Stone reports. "Just one thing that happened, I guess. I'm just sorry it happened to me and everybody else, you know?" His iconic white Steinway piano, which he obtained in the 30's, was recovered with the help of McCartney.
Domino is survived by his eight children. His wife Rosemary Domino passed in 2008.
See homages to Domino by the likes of Questlove and Wendell Pierce below.