Allen Toussaint: 1938-2015

allen_toussaint

He practically died on-stage in Madrid, an appropriate ending to a rich, music-filled life.

Allen Toussaint, a renowned and influential New Orleans r&b and soul legend, has passed away following a heart attack on Monday.  After a performance Monday in Madrid, Toussaint suffered a cardiac arrest and was soon pronounced dead.

Toussaint was a relentless and active performer up until his death, though he’s best known for the songs he wrote off-stage.  Those songs, often made famous by other singers, include “Working in the Coal Mine,” “Ride Your Pony,” “Fortune Teller,” “Southern Nights,””Get Out of My Life, Woman,” and “Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky”.

Toussaint, born in a simple ‘shotgun house’ in New Orleans, and was nurtured musically from a very young age.  By his late-teens, Toussaint was writing, jamming, and producing with notable local artists, and his hitmaking songwriter career was in full stride by the 1960s.

By the 70s, Toussaint launched his own performance career, and enjoyed collaborations with the likes of Patti Labelle and Paul McCartney.  The legend has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Blues Hall of Fame, and Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

Image by Henryk Kotowski, CC by SA-3.0.

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