Speed Reads


New Orleans R&B pioneer Allen Toussaint dies at 77

Legendary New Orleans producer Allen Toussaint passed away early Tuesday morning after suffering a heart attack while on tour in Madrid. He was 77.

Since first learning to play the piano at age 7, Toussaint went on to become a pioneer of New Orleans R&B, soul, and funk, working with artists like Lee Dorsey and Irma Thomas, as well as Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney, and Eric Clapton later in his career. The Grammy-winning producer is responsible for multiple hits including "Working in the Coal Mine," "Lady Marmalade," and "Southern Nights."

In addition to his legacy as a songwriter and performer, Toussaint inspired artists like The Rolling Stones and The Doors to cover his songs and influenced countless others. Toussaint is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2012. Watch Toussaint perform "Southern Nights" below. Roxie Pell