Influential rock and roll pioneer Antoine "Fats" Domino died Wednesday at the age of 89, his daughter told New Orleans' WWL-TV. Born in 1928 as the eighth child in a New Orleans Ninth Ward French Creole family, Fats Domino paved the way for early rock superstars including Elvis Presley and The Beatles, The Independent reports. "There wouldn't have been a Beatles without Fats Domino," WWL-TV quotes John Lennon as once saying. Or, in the words of critic Robert Christgau: "In short, this shy, deferential, uncharismatic man invented New Orleans rock and roll."
Domino's debut with collaborator Dave Bartholomew, The Fat Man, was the first rock and roll record to sell more than a million copies. He sold more than 65 million records in his lifetime. In addition to a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Domino was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1986. Four of his songs were also included in the Grammy Hall of Fame, including "Blueberry Hill" and "Ain't That A Shame."
Domino said his music was inspired by the world around him: "I used to go around different places, hear people talk," he said. "Sometimes I wasn't expecting to hear nothin', and my mind was very much on my music. Next thing I'd hear, I would either write it down or remember it good." Listen to "Blueberry Hill" below, and learn more about his legacy at WWL-TV. Jeva Lange