- 07 Jun 19
The sad new tonight is that the great – and hugely influential – New Orleans jazz, boogie-woogie, ragtime and rock 'n' roll musician, Dr. John, has died of a heart attack.
The news has just come through on the mojo wire that Dr. John has died. The Grammy Award-winning singer was 77 years of age. He died of a heart attack.
— Dr. John (@akadrjohn) June 6, 2019
A message was posted on Dr. John's official Twitter account, announcing the very sad news.
"Towards the break of day June 6, iconic music legend Malcolm John Rebennack, Jr, known as Dr John, passed away of a heart attack," the message said
"The family thanks all whom shared his unique musical journey & requests privacy at this time. Memorial arrangements will be announced in due course."
Dr. John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 by singer John Legend.
Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr tweeted a picture of the great New Orleans icon, along with the message: "God bless Dr John, peace and love to all his family. I love the doctor, peace and love."
Dr. John – aka The Nightripper – began his career in the late 1950s, when he emerged as a pianist and singer on the local New Orleans scene. He went on to gain recognition as a solo performer with the release of the album Gris-Gris in 1968. He became what's often called a musician's musician – a favourite of people from every area of, and genre on, the musical landscape.
While he had a big hit in 1973 with 'Right Place, Wrong Time', he was not reliant on Top 10 records for his success. He was a born performer, and his live shows were always special, with a touch of carnival about them. He was sartorially impressive too, wearing bright colours, feathers, plumes and jewellery.
In addition to pursuing a hugely successful solo career, he was a guest on numerous high profile records, including The Rolling Stones' Exile On Main Street, Van Morrison's A Period of Transition, The Bands The Last Waltz (on which he performed 'Such A Night', which also featured in the movie) and The Blues Brothers official soundtrack,
He was the inspiration for the character Dr. Teeth in The Muppets. In all, Dr. John won six Grammy Awards.
1989 Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo Or Group - "Makin' Whoopee"
1992 Best Traditional Blues Album - Goin' Back To New Orleans
1996 Best Rock Instrumental Performance - "SRV Shuffle"
2000 Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals - "Is You Is, Or Is You Ain't (My Baby)"
2008 Best Contemporary Blues Album - City That Care Forgot
2013 Best Blues Album - Locked Down
"He was one of those essential rock n' roll characters," Hot Press editor Niall Stokes said. "If he hadn't existed, we'd have had to make him up. He oozed that marvellous sense of 'otherness' that marks someone out as a special talent. And musicians loved him. He was an inspirational and an influential figure, who showed just enough of that old voodoo magic to survive every change in fashion and style. He will be greatly missed."