Dr. John, a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a six-time Grammy winner, died Thursday morning from a heart attack, said his publicist and social media manager Karen Beninato. He was 77. In a statement released through his publicist, the family of Dr. John said he died “toward the break of day” on Thursday of a heart attack.
According to the Grammy website, Dr. John, Dr. John, whose real name was Malcolm John Rebennack Jr, began his musical career working as a songwriter and guitarist in the 1950s. He later played keyboards for Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones and Van Morrison. He told Smithsonian.com in 2009, that in 1960, or so, he got shot in a finger when he went to defend a bandmate who was being pistol-whipped. He switched to piano after that. In the late 1960s, he became “Dr. John, the Nite Tripper” when he went solo.
His song “Right Place Wrong Time” peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard chart in 1973. The blues, rock and jazz musician won his most recent Grammy in 2012 for the best blues album, “Locked Down.” Dr. John had not been seen in public much since late 2017, when he cancelled several gigs. According to his publicist, he had been resting at his New Orleans area home.
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