top of page

New Orleans Music Legend Dr. John Dead At 77

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.

Born Malcolm John Rebennack Jr., the six-time Grammy nominee died Thursday morning of a heart attack, with the sad news announced on social media.

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.

Rebennack was born in New Orleans in 1941. His persona both on and off stage was a wonder built on myths, lies, speculation and deceit. He willfully obscured his biography in service of his art. Starting with his 1968 debut, “Gris-Gris,” and extending through at least 30 studio albums, the artist created singular works that used as a template classic American songcraft — but with a handmade New Orleans roux mixed in.

The musician, who successfully battled heroin addiction, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by singer John Legend in 2011; and won his most recent Grammy in 2012 when Locked Down was named best blues album.

Doctor John with Etta James performing together "I'd Rather Go Blind" in 1987:



bottom of page