Dr John, Legendary New Orleans Musician, Dies at 77

The multi-instrumentalist was a six-time Grammy winner

Last Updated: June 6, 2019 @ 3:48 PM

Dr. John, the legendary New Orleans-based musician who blended elements of jazz, R&B, rock, funk and blues, has died at the age of 77, his family announced in a tweet. He died of a heart attack early on Thursday morning.

Born Malcolm John Rebennack, Jr. on Nov. 20, 1941 in New Orleans, Dr. John became one of the rare musicians who was as synonymous for his sound as he was for the city where he was born and lived. Beginning as a session musician in the 1950s, Dr. John was a staple in the New Orleans music scene, playing in the city’s rich dives as well as events like Jazz Fest.

He is best known for his 1973 hit, “Right Place, Wrong Time,” which peaked at no. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year. He appeared in “The Last Waltz” as well, Martin Scorsese’s documentary that chronicled the Band’s final show in San Francisco in 1976. His first album, 1968’s “Gris-Gris,” is one of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Over the years, he has collaborated with a wide array of artists that cut across styles and genres, including the Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, Neil Diamond, Van Morrison, Christina Aguilera, B.B. King, Ringo Starr, The Black Keys among many others.

In his long career, Dr. John won six Grammy Awards, most recently for Best Blues Album in 2013 for “Locked Down.” He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by John Legend in 2011.