Legendary 'Ain't That a Shame' singer Fats Domino has died at 89

Domino sold more than 65 million records in his illustrious career.

ByABC News
October 25, 2017, 11:00 AM

— -- Legendary musician Fats Domino has died, ABC News has confirmed with the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s office in Louisiana. He was 89.

The man born Antoine Domino, Jr. had been active in the music scene since the late 1940's and produced hits like "Blueberry Hill" and "Ain't That a Shame." Domino was of French Creole descent and was born and raised in New Orleans, where he became a legend. He was nicknamed "Fats" early on, in part due to his size.

He began playing piano and singing professionally while still in his teens, and recorded his first record, "The Fat Man," in 1949. Four years later, it had sold a million copies, believed to be one of the first early rock 'n roll records to achieve that milestone.

Domino is best-known for his string of classic hits that began in 1955 with "Ain't That a Shame," combining blues, R&B and classic boogie woogie into a signature style. "Ain't That a Shame" reached the pop chart top-ten, though a more mainstream cover by white singer Pat Boone reached #1.

The icon's most enduring hit came in 1956 with a cover of the 1940s pop song "Blueberry Hill" -- it sold over five million copies worldwide. Hits like 1957's "I'm Walkin'," 1959's "I Want to Walk You Home" and 1960's "Walking to New Orleans" followed.

Of his almost 50 albums that spanned five decades, Domino produced more than 25 gold singles and sold more than 65 million records, according to his official website. He also produced new music well into the 2000's.

Domino was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1986 and has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1998, President Bill Clinton also awarded him with the National Medal of Arts.

The blues and rock n' roll musician wasn't one for interviews, but in 2006 he spoke to CBS News after Hurricane Katrina devastated his home city.

He lost nearly all of his possessions when Katrina struck New Orleans, including his gold records, though the RIAA replaced them. Domino said he was sorry that so many like him lost their homes and were displaced because of the natural disaster.

"I hope [to move back to New Orleans], I like it down there," he said with a smile about getting New Orleans back to its feet again.

Domino was married to Rosemary Domino for 60 years before her death in 2008 and the duo had eight children.

ABC News' Rachel Katz contributed to this report.