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Allen Toussaint dead at 77

Influential producer, songwriter and performer dies while on tour in Europe

Producer, songwriter, pianist and Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Allen Toussaint has died aged 77.

The Allen Toussaint Quartet were on tour in Spain and WWL report he passed away on Monday – a day after the band played a show at Bilbao’s Sala BBK.

Toussaint was born on January 14, 1938, in New Orleans and released his debut album The Wild Sound Of New Orleans in 1958. He would go on to release more than a dozen albums, with his last being 2013’s Songbook and was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1998.

Aside from his playing career, he collaborated, produced and arranged songs for dozens of artists, including Aaron Neville, Paul McCartney, Joe Cocker, Glen Campbell, Irma Thomas, Ernie K-Doe, Chris Kenner, Lee Dorsey, Jessie Hill, Benny Spellman and Al Hirt.

His tracks and compositions were also widely covered by artists including Iron Butterfly, the Rolling Stones, the Jerry Garcia Band, Ringo Starr, Bonnie Raitt, Boz Scaggs and Frankie Miller, while the Yardbirds recorded Toussaint’s A Certain Girl for the B-side of their 1968 debut single I Wish You Would.

Toussaint was also know for his charity work, and just last week it was announced that he and longtime friend Paul Simon would hold a benefit gig in the city to raise cash for New Orleans Artists Against Hunger And Homelessness – a charity Toussaint helped set up.

No cause of death has been given. He’s survived by his son Clarence, known as Reginald, and daughter Alison.

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