New Orleans R&B; Great Passes Away

Allen Toussaint died of reported heart attack at age 77


After playing a concert in Madrid, Allen Toussaint died Monday from what his daughter said was a heart attack.

Toussaint, an internationally known and loved musician, songwriter and producer, was 77 years old, according to The New York Times.

A New Orleans mainstay in the rhythm and blues genre, Toussaint was born in a working-class New Orleans neighborhood in 1938. Twenty years later, he released his first album. From there, his career led him to leave a permanent, audible mark on American music.

In addition to making his own music, Toussaint worked with or influenced countless artists. Notable among them: The Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, The Band and Paul McCartney.

According to NPR, many fellow artists rushed to social media to share their support and condolences after news of Toussaint's passing broke. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, a well-known institution in New Orleans music, shared kind words via Twitter.

"Today — and forever — we remember our dear friend, Mr. Allen Toussaint: the man, the artist, the genius. Thanks for the music and all of the memories. Rest in peace," the festival tweeted, according to NPR.

While details surrounding Toussaint's death remain unclear, his daughter reported that the cause appeared to be a heart attack. A heart attack most often occurs when fat, cholesterol or other substances build up over time blocking blood flow to the heart.

In the United States alone, an estimated 610,000 patients die from heart disease every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the US.