Grammy-winning musician Dr John dies at 77

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-48551452

Dr JohnImage copyright
Natasha Moustache

Grammy-winning American singer Dr John has died at the age of 77 after suffering a heart attack.

The New Orleans-born musician died on Thursday, according to a message posted on his official Twitter account.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer combined the genres of blues, pop, jazz, boogie woogie and rock and roll.

A statement said: “Towards the break of day June 6, iconic music legend Malcolm John Rebennack, Jr, known as Dr John, passed away of a heart attack.”

It added: “The family thanks all whom shared his unique musical journey & requests privacy at this time. Memorial arrangements will be announced in due course.”

Blondie lead singer Debbie Harry was among those to pay tribute, sharing a picture of herself alongside the six-time Grammy winner.

Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr also tweeted a picture, along with the message: “God bless Dr John, peace and love to all his family. I love the doctor, peace and love.”

His career started in the late 1950s, when he became prominent as a pianist and singer on the New Orleans music scene, before gaining recognition as a solo performer with the release of his album Gris-Gris in 1968.

Dr John, who successfully battled heroin addiction, is perhaps best known for his 1973 hit, Right Place, Wrong Time.

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Kevork Djansezian

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Dr John performing at the Grammy Awards in 2013

His live shows were known for their carnival atmosphere and he would wear costumes of bright colours, feathers and plumes, and scatter glitter on the audience.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by singer John Legend in 2011.

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Kevin Kane

He recorded some 35 albums, and three of them won Grammys – most recently “Locked Down” in 2013.

That album touched on drugs, his time in prison – he got a two-year sentence for drug charges in the mid-60s – and efforts to repair his relationship with his children.

He was married twice and told the New York Times he had “a lot” of children.