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Remembering Allen Toussaint

Legendary performer dies after performance in Spain

11/10/2015, 3:11 p.m.
Legendary New Orleans musician and composer Allen Toussaint, who penned such classics as "Working in a Coal Mine" and "Lady ...
Allen Toussaint performs at the 2011 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans. The legendary musician died Tuesday after suffering a heart attack following a concert he performed in the Spanish capital of Madrid. (AP photo)

(AP) -- Legendary New Orleans musician and composer Allen Toussaint, who penned such classics as "Working in a Coal Mine" and "Lady Marmalade," has died after suffering a heart attack following a concert he performed in Spain. He was 77.

Rescue workers were called to Toussaint's hotel early Tuesday morning and managed to revive him after he suffered a heart attack, Madrid emergency services spokesman Javier Ayuso said.

But Toussaint stopped breathing during the ambulance ride to a hospital and efforts to revive him again were unsuccessful, Ayuso said.

Toussaint was born in New Orleans' Gert Town, a working class neighborhood, and went on to become one of the city's most legendary and celebrated performers.

He has hundreds of hits to his name. He penned the 1966 Lee Dorsey classic "Working in a Coal Mine" and produced Dr. John's 1973 hit "Right Place, Wrong Time" and 1975's "Lady Marmalade" by the vocal trio Labelle. In 1998, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

He worked with some of the greatest names in music including Irma Thomas, the Meters, Joe Cocker and the late Ernie K-Doe. Approaching 80, he was still active touring and performing. He was expected to perform a benefit concert along with longtime friend Paul Simon in New Orleans on Dec. 8.