Fats Domino, one of the first mega-stars at the dawn of rock and roll, and the voice and piano behind enduring hits like “Blueberry Hill” and “Ain’t That a Shame,” died Tuesday night at the age of 89. Mark Bone, chief investigator with the Jefferson Parish coroner’s office in Louisiana, confirmed his death to the Associated Press.
Fats Domino was a contemporary of Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis. He was among the first acts inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and was reportedly only second to Elvis Presley in record sales thanks to a string of top 10 hits between 1955 and 1960. Four songs of Domino’s were named to the Grammy Hall of Fame for their significance in music history: “Blueberry Hill,” “Ain’t It A Shame,” “Walking to New Orleans” and “The Fat Man.” Fats Domino was also presented with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987. Rolling Stone magazine listed him at #25 in the list of ‘Greatest Recording Artists of All Time.’
Fats Domino was notoriously reclusive and shy and had retired from performing shortly after Hurricane Katrina. He had been in declining health over the past few years. He gave his last public performance in 2007 at Tipitina’s, in his home town, New Orleans.