Dr. John, the New Orleans musician who blended black and white musical styles with a hoodoo-infused stage persona and gravelly bayou drawl, has died. 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. There were no details about where he died.
Dr. John — who was born Mac Rebennack — had not been seen in public much since late 2017, when he cancelled several gigs. He had been resting at his New Orleans area home, publicist Karen Beninato said last year in an interview.
“The family thanks all whom have shared his unique musical journey and requests privacy at this time,” the statement said. Memorial arrangements were being planned.
Rebennack’s spooky 1968 debut Gris-Gris combined rhythm and blues with psychedelic rock and startled listeners with its sinister implications of other-worldly magic. He later had a Top 10 hit with Right Place, Wrong Time, collaborated with numerous top-tier rockers, won multiple Grammy awards and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
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