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Fats Domino, Towering Pioneer of Early Rock and Roll, Dies at 89 (video)

Inspired Elvis Presley, Beatles, Rolling Stones

Fats Domino, a rock and roll pioneer who paved the way for hundreds of artists, has died at 89.

Fats Domino, the legendary rock ‘n’ roll musician, passed away today (Oct. 25). His daughter said the ‘Blueberry Hill’ singer passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends.

TV star Wendell Pierce led tributes to the rocker.

“Words fail me in this moment of deep heartache and sadness. We have lost a legend,” he said.

The ‘Ain’t That a Shame’ hitmaker was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987. The rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, whose career peaked in the ’50s and ’60s, inspired the likes of Elvis Presley, The Beatles and other blues-oriented rock groups.

He was born and raised in New Orleans. He was famously feared dead in 2005, when he refused to leave his home when Hurricane Katrina hit the state, devastating the city.

It was later revealed he had been rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter.

The iconic musician was given his nickname by New Orleans bandleader Billy Diamond in 1947, after he heard him play.

Diamond said he was reminded of pianists Fats Waller and Fats Pichon.

He released his first single, “The Fat Man,” with long-time co-writer Dave Bartholomew in 1950. His debut album, Carry on Rockin was released in 1955.

In 2012, Fats appeared as himself in HBO show “Treme.” It was set in New Orleans and featured several local musicians.

He was one of the first musicians inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and was reportedly only second to Presley in record sales thanks to a titanic string of 11 top 10 hits between 1955 and 1960, according to Rolling Stone.

Those hits included “I’m Walkin’,” “Blue Monday” and “Walking to New Orleans.”

He was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in August 2016.

Fats had eight children, Antonio, Andre, Anatole, Adonica, Andrea, Antoine III, Antoinette, Anola, with late wife Rosemary, who died in 2008.

Check out the videos below.

 

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