Fats Domino dies aged 89 | News | DW | 25.10.2017
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Fats Domino dies aged 89

The rock 'n' roll pioneer's innovative style changed popular music with hits that included "Blueberry Hill" and "Ain't It a Shame." He died Tuesday of natural causes near his hometown of New Orleans.

Fats Domino, the rock 'n' roll pioneer whose innovative style changed popular music in the 1950s and 1960s, has died aged 89.

The coroner's office in Jefferson Parish in the US state of Louisiana confirmed that Domino had died Tuesday morning of natural causes.

"He was true to his new Orleans roots and he was a real legend," Jefferson Parish Corner Gerry Cvitanovich said.

Fans of the legendary New Orleans singer took to Twitter on Wednesday to express their condolences.

Domino, whose hits included "Blueberry Hill" and "Ain't It a Shame," sold 65 million records and 22 million singles.

In 1986, he was among the first 10 honorees to be named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 1998, President Clinton honored Domino with the National Medal for the Arts.

New Orleans born and raised

Antoine Dominique Domino Jr. was born on February 26, 1928 in New Orleans, Louisiana. After teaching himself to play the piano as a child, the teenage Domino performed in local nightclubs before Imperial Records signed him in 1949.

Fats Domino waves in a sailor cap

Domino sold 65 million records during a remarkable career

His first big hit came in 1955 with "Ain't That a Shame," which had originally been titled "Ain't It a Shame." Until the early 1960s, he enjoyed successes with "Be My Guest," "I'm Ready" and "I'm Walkin'."

The US Library of Congress chose Domino's 1956 version of "Blueberry Hill" for its National Recording Registry, an initiative to preserve historic American sound recordings.

Domino spent much of his life in his hometown and was briefly unaccounted for after Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the city in 2005.

amp/kms (dpa, AP, AFP, Reuters)