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Fats Domino, Rock & Roll Legend, Dies at 89, Celebs Pay Tribute

Fats Domino
Clive Limpkin, Getty Images

Fats Domino, a New Orleans legend and rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, has passed away at the age of 89.

According to NPR, Domino died of natural causes at his daughter’s home in New Orleans. The Jefferson Parish coroner’s office also confirmed the death.

Mr. Domino (real name Antoine Domino, Jr.) was a lifelong New Orleanian who dominated the R&B charts from 1949 to 1960s with a slew of infectious tunes that will forever be embedded into the musical fabric of America. It was started with “The Fat Man,” his first recording ever on Imperial Records in 1949. It sold a million copies.

“Fats was rocking the joint,” said Dave Bartholomew who co-wrote most of Domino’s classic songs at that time. “And he was sweating and playing, he’d put his whole heart and soul in what he was going, and the people was crazy about him — so that was it. We made our first record, ‘The Fat Man,’ and we never turned around.”

Among Dominio’s classic hits include “Blueberry Hill,” “Ain’t That a Shame,” “I’m Walkin’,” “Blue Monday,” “Walking to New Orleans,” and many more. His energetic piano infused with Dixieland rhythms and his Creole-inflicted vocal style influenced became the gold standard in contemporary blues, soul and rock music.

Domino paved the way for rock ‘n’ roll in the mid-1950s way before Elvis Presley. Between 1950 and 1963, he outsold Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly — all together. For his musical achievements, Domino was in the original class inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

As for what made his music so endearing with fans around the world, Fats Domino said, “As far as I know, the music makes people happy. I know it makes me happy.”

When news broke of Fats Domino’s death several musicians and celebrities paid tribute to him on social media, including Questlove and Young Money president Mack Maine, who is a New Orleans native. Read their tributes below.

Watch Fats Domino Perform “Blueberry Hill”

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Watch Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That A Shame” Video

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