Gigionthat.com has learned Fats Domino, the amiable rock ‘n’ roll pioneer whose steady, pounding piano and easy baritone helped change popular music while honoring the traditions of the Crescent City died Tuesday at the age of 89, the Jefferson Parish Coroner says.
The New Orleans musician’s daughter said he died peacefully while surrounded by family and friends, CBS affiliate WWL-TV reports.
In appearance, he was no Elvis Presley. He stood 5-feet-5 and weighed more than 200 pounds, with a wide, boyish smile and a haircut as flat as an album cover. But Domino sold more than 110 million records, with hits including “Blueberry Hill,” ”Ain’t It a Shame” and other standards of rock ‘n’ roll.
He was one of the first 10 honorees named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Rolling Stone Record Guide likened him to Benjamin Franklin, the beloved old man of a revolutionary movement. The magazine listed Domino at No. 25 in its list of “Greatest Recording Artists of All Time.”
His dynamic performance style and warm vocals drew crowds for five decades. One of his show-stopping stunts was playing the piano while standing, throwing his body against it with the beat of the music and bumping the grand piano across the stage.