Dr. John Dead at 77
Dr. John, the legendary New Orleans pianist, guitarist, and singer born Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack, died today of a heart attack, his family announced. He was 77. “He created a unique blend of music which carried his home town, New Orleans, at its heart, as it was always in his heart,” his family said in a statement. “The family thanks all whom have shared his unique musical journey, and requests privacy at this time.”
As a session musician since his teenage years in the late 1950s, Dr. John played with local blues greats Professor Longhair, Art Neville, and Frankie Ford. Known for his voodoo Bayou style, he went on to release dozens of solo records, starting with his breakout 1968 debut Gris-Gris, and to record and perform with the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, and near-countless others. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.
Dr. John released his final solo album Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch in 2014 and performed for the last time at the 2017 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Read his family’s full statement below.
“Towards the break of day on June 6, 2019, iconic music legend Malcolm John Rebennack, Jr., professionally known as Dr. John, passed away of a heart attack. As a Rock N Roll Hall of Fame inductee, six time Grammy winner, songwriter, composer, producer, and performer, he created a unique blend of music which carried his home town, New Orleans, at its’ heart, as it was always in his heart. The family thanks all whom have shared his unique musical journey, and requests privacy at this time. Memorial arrangements will be announced in due course.”