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Fats Domino, 89, One of Rock ’n’ Roll’s First Stars, Is Dead


Mr. Domino performing in 2007 on NBC’s “Today” show.

Richard Drew/Associated Press

Fats Domino, the New Orleans rhythm-and-blues singer whose two-fisted boogie-woogie piano and nonchalant vocals, heard on dozens of hits, made him one of the biggest stars of the early rock ’n’ roll era, has died in Louisiana. He was 89.

The Associated Press reported that Mark Bone, the chief investigator with the Jefferson Parish coroner’s office, said he died on Tuesday.

Mr. Domino had more than three dozen Top 40 pop hits through the 1950s and early ’60s, among them “Blueberry Hill,” “Ain’t It a Shame,” “I’m Walkin’,” “Blue Monday” and “Walkin’ to New Orleans.” He carried both the particular spirit of his hometown, New Orleans, and a droll resilience that reached listeners worldwide.

Fats Domino Ain’t That A Shame Video by MrRaymem

He sold 65 million singles in those years, with 23 gold records, making him second only to Elvis Presley as a commercial force. Presley acknowledged Mr. Domino as a predecessor.

“A lot of people seem to think I started this business,” Presley told Jet magazine in 1957. “But rock ’n’ roll was here a long time before I came along. Nobody can sing that music like colored people. Let’s face it: I can’t sing it like Fats Domino can. I know that.”

A complete obituary will appear shortly.

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