New Orleans Music Legend Dr. John Dead At 77

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: