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New Orleans musician Allen Toussaint dies in Madrid aged 77

Published 10/11/2015

Allen Toussaint has died in Spain aged 77
Allen Toussaint has died in Spain aged 77

New Orleans musician and composer Allen Toussaint, who penned such classics as Working In A Coal Mine and Lady Marmalade, has died after suffering a heart attack following a concert in Spain.

Paramedics were called to the 77-year-old's hotel in Madrid early on Tuesday morning and managed to revive him, an emergency services spokesman said.

However, Mr Toussaint stopped breathing during the ambulance ride to a hospital and efforts to revive him again were unsuccessful.

He performed on Monday night at Madrid's Lara Theatre.

Mr Toussaint was born in New Orleans' Gert Town, a working class neighbourhood of the city, where he lived in a "shotgun" house - so-called because you could stand at the front door and fire a shotgun through to the other side of the house.

He went on to become one of the city's most celebrated performers. He was often one of the headliners at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Mr Toussaint has hundreds of hits to his name and received the Recording Academy Trustees Award during the 2009 Grammy Awards.

He penned the 1966 Lee Dorsey classic Working In A Coal Mine and produced Dr John's 1973 hit Right Place, Wrong Time as well as the 1975 hit Lady Marmalade by vocal trio Labelle.

In 1998, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

He worked with some of the greatest names in music including Irma Thomas, the Meters, Joe Cocker and the late Ernie K-Doe.

Approaching 80, he was still active touring and performing. He was expected to perform a benefit concert along with long-time friend Paul Simon in New Orleans on December 8.

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