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ALLEN TOUSSAINT, RIP

Allen Toussaint, the illustrious producer, songwriter, arranger, performer and New Orleans icon, passed away yesterday after a concert in Madrid. Toussaint, who was 77, apparently died of a heart attack.

A leader in R&B, he was (and is) beloved by many in the industry, and will be sorely missed.

Toussaint wrote and produced R&B hits for the likes of Ernie K-Doe, The Showmen and Irma Thomas. He's collaborated with an array of legends, including Joe Cocker and Paul McCartney. His work has been covered by many, including The Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, Glen Campbell, The Yardbirds, Warren Zevon, Ringo Starr, The Who and more.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011, and was the first person to be recognized with the AMA Lifetime Achievement Award for Producer/Engineer in 2006. Toussaint was also honored with the Recording Academy Trustees Award in 2011.

"Allen Toussaint was one of music’s most influential figures to hail from New Orleans," shared Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "A multifaceted songwriter, producer and performer, his iconic songs such as 'Working In A Coal Mine,' 'Mother-In-Law' and 'Lady Marmalade' were a gumbo of stylized soul, funk and R&B—a sound that came to be synonymous with the Big Easy. Further solidifying his rich legacy, his songs were recorded by a diverse group of artists such as Jerry Garcia, Ringo Starr, Glen Campbell, Devo, The Band and the Rolling Stones, among others. The music community has lost a true icon, and we share our deepest condolences with Allen’s family and friends, and with those who had the privilege of collaborating with him."

He is survived by his two children—son Clarence (aka Reginald) and daughter Alison—and by several grandchildren.

In remembrance, we highly suggest grooving to the sweet sounds of his 1975 staple, Southern Nights (below).

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