Music | June 6, 2019 9:03 pm

New Orleans Rock Legend Dr. John Has Died at 77

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member and six-time Grammy winner died of a heart attack

Dr. John, dead at 77 (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
Dr. John, dead at 77 (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)

There are few cities in America where the sound helps define the place quite like New Orleans. Brass bands, Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino and The Meters are just a few of the names you associate with the city. But Malcolm John Rebennack, better known as Dr. John, took the magic and the strangeness of the Big Easy to another level, one that reached countless listeners.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member, six-time Grammy winner and inspiration for the Muppet Dr. Teeth, passed away Thursday morning from a heart attack, publicist Karen Beninato confirmed. He passed “towards the break of day” according to a statement on his official Facebook.

Known for his outlandish costumes, his incredible performance on The Last Waltz, the 1973 top-10 hit, “Right Place, Wrong Time,” Dr. John’s career path took turns working in brothels and dealing drugs, a prison stint, as well as session work with the likes of James Booker, Aretha Franklin, Frank Zappa and Canned Heat. His first album, 1968’s Gris-Gris, is a voodoo soaked psychedelic rhythm and blues record that sounded like nothing else when it came out (and still has few contemporaries all these years later). The albums that followed included guest spots by Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Allen Toussaint and other famous musicians who respected Dr. John for his persona as much as his music.

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