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Music legend Fats Domino dies

Fats Domino, who had hits such as "Blueberry Hill" and "Blue Monday," has died at the age of 89.

By Jon Francis | Published: 25th October 2017 Showbiz

Domino, who for a while was mistakenly thought to have been killed when Hurricane Katrina devastated his New Orleans neighborhood in 2005, died peacefully surrounded by family and friends.

The cause of death was not immediately clear.

As one of the pioneers of rock 'n' roll in the 1950s, Domino sold 65 million records - more than anyone in that period except Elvis Presley, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He had dozens of songs on the pop and rhythm-and-blues charts, including "Blueberry Hill," "Ain't That a Shame," "Blue Monday," "I'm Walkin'," "Whole Lotta Loving," "Hello, Josephine," "Walking to New Orleans," "I'm Gonna Be a Wheel Some Day" and "Let the Four Winds Blow."

Antoine Dominique Domino was born on Feb. 26, 1928 in New Orleans and one of nine children. A brother-in-law taught him piano, leading to a style that mixed the classic New Orleans sound with blues, country and Cajun music. He was performing in nightclubs while still a teenager and soon teamed with trumpet player Dave Bartholomew, who would become his co-writer and producer and help refine his piano style.

Like contemporaries Little Richard and Chuck Berry, Domino was a black performer whose music crossed over to white audiences and helped shape early rock.

Also like Little Richard, one of his biggest hits, "Ain't That a Shame," was later recorded by Pat Boone, a white singer, whose version received more radio airplay. A live version of the song by the rock band Cheap Trick was a hit in 1978.

Domino's prominence began to wane after the British invasion and other forms of rock took root in the 1960s.

In his later years Domino was reluctant to perform and rarely left his beloved hometown, but he did go to Indianola, Mississippi, in 2015 to play "Amazing Grace" at B.B. King's funeral.