NEW ORLEANS – Legendary New Orleans musician Allen Toussaint, who racked up hits like “Working in the Coal Mine” and “Lady Marmalade” as a behind-the-scenes songwriter and producer before he gained new fame as a performer, died Tuesday, not long after a performance in Spain.
Rescue workers were called to Toussaint’s hotel in Madrid early Tuesday morning after he suffered a heart attack, said Madrid emergency services spokesman Javier Ayuso.
Toussaint performed t so often – starting in 1973 – that Davis said Toussaint referred to the festival as his “Annual concert.”
Born in New Orleans’ working class Gert Town neighborhood, Toussaint went on to become one of the city’s most legendary and celebrated performers and personalities.
In the late ’50s and early ’60s, Thomas and Toussaint and others would gather at Toussaint’s mom’s house to rehearse.
Hurricane Katrina in 2005 flooded not only his home but his Sea-Saint studio, forcing Toussaint to flee to New York.
In New York, Toussaint focused largely on performing, often taking the stage in solo concerts at Joe’s Pub on Lafayette Street.
Like many New Orleanians, Toussaint couldn’t stay away from the Crescent City forever.