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Allen Toussaint, R&B Legend, Dead at 77

”Working in the Coal Mine“ songwriter died in Spain after suffering a heart attack

Allen Toussaint, the R&B musician whose body of work included “Working in the Coal Mine” and “Southern Nights,” has died at age 77.

The BBC reports that Toussaint suffered a heart attack after appearing at Teatro Lara in Madrid on Monday night and, after he was resuscitated in his hotel room, the musician had a second heart attack while being transported to the hospital.

Toussaint had been scheduled to play at the upcoming London Jazz Festival.

Born in 1938 in New Orleans, Toussaint took up the piano at an early age, gaining attention when he was recruited to fill in for Fats Domino during a recording session. He went on to write numerous songs and enjoyed a successful collaboration with Lee Dorsey, who recorded Toussaint songs including “Ride Your Pony,” “Get Out of My Life Woman” and the aforementioned “Working in the Coal Mine.”

His songs were covered by a wide array of artists, including The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Bo Diddley and The Who. He also produced Labelle’s ’70s classic “Lady Marmalade.”

Toussaint, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, devoted himself to fundraising and rebuilding New Orleans following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

In 2013, Toussaint received the National Medal of Arts.

He is survived by two children, Clarence and Alison.