Fats Domino, Rock And Roll Icon, Dies
Fats Domino, the rock and roll pioneer behind classics such as "Ain't That A Shame" and "Blueberry Hill," died from natural causes on Oct. 24. He was 89 years old.
With an influence on par with rock and roll forefathers such as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and Jerry Lee Lewis, the New Orleans-born Antoine "Fats" Domino came to prominence in the 1950s on the strength of his patented boogie-woogie piano style, Creole-inflected voice and signature rhythms that fused elements of jazz and R&B.
Domino landed 37 songs in the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 throughout his career, including 11 that peaked inside the Top 10. Recording for Imperial Records, Domino cut many songs that are considered early rock and roll classics throughout the '50s and '60s, including "Ain't That A Shame" (No. 10), "Blueberry Hill" (No. 2), "Blue Monday" (No. 5), "I'm Walkin'," (No. 4) and "Walking To New Orleans" (No. 6). One of his final charting singles was a cover of the Beatles' "Lady Madonna," which hit the last position on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968.
The portly pianist influenced a variety of fellow musicians, such as Presley, Dave Bartholomew, Led Zeppelin, Cheap Trick, Randy Newman, Ricky Nelson, and Paul McCartney and John Lennon, among others.
RIP fats domino... you helped pave the way for new orleans piano players... see you on top of that blueberry hill in the sky
— Harry Connick Jr (@HarryConnickJR) October 25, 2017
Domino was among the first class of honorees inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, alongside as the likes of Presley, Berry, James Brown, and Little Richard. A year later in 1987 Domino was honored with the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Domino has landed four recordings in the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame: "Blueberry Hill" (1987), "Walking To New Orleans" (2011), "Ain't It A Shame" (2002), and "The Fat Man" (2016). The latter song is cited by historians as the first rock and roll single and the first to sell more than 1 million copies.
"Our Recording Academy family is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of rock and roll visionary Fats Domino," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "In a career spanning more than five decades, Domino charmed audiences with his smooth vocals, boogie-woogie piano style and unwavering humility. ... He will be greatly missed, but remembered for paving the way for rock and roll."