Allen Toussaint, the inimitable New Orleans pianist and songwriter died of a heart attack early Tuesday morning in Madrid, Spain. Toussaint, 77, was on tour in Europe and had performed Monday evening. Paramedics were called to his hotel early Tuesday morning, but as they were transporting Toussaint to a hospital, attempts to revive him were not successful the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.
Toussaint was an integral piece to not only New Orleans’ musical fabric, but the American canon. Known for writing such songs as the oft-covered “Fortune Teller” (Rolling Stones, The Who), Glen Campbell’s chart-topping crossover hit, “Southern Nights,” LaBelle’s No. 1 hit “Lady Marmalade,” and Leo Dorsey’s 1966 cover of “Workin’ in a Coal Mine,” Toussaint left a deep and indelible mark.
After embarking on a solo career in the ‘70s, Toussaint routinely toured across Europe and the States. A Louisiana native and long-time New Orleans resident, Toussaint also regularly performed at Crescent City festivals.
Toussaint was a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and also received the National Medal of the Arts from President Obama in 2012.