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Who Was Fats Domino?

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Without him, the entire history of pop music wouldn't be the same.

One of the original creators of rock ‘n’ roll music died this week. If you've never heard his music, you're in for a treat — listen to his greatest songs here.

The piano man they called “Fats” Domino was born Antoine Domino Jr., in New Orleans, and was still a teenager when he began performing professionally in the 1940s. At the age of 21, he began a dozen-year streak as one of the most popular musicians in America, placing hit song after hit song on the R&B and pop radio charts.

Both Elvis Presley and the Beatles called Fats Domino one of their biggest musical idols. ("Let's face it," Elvis once said, "I can't sing it like Fats Domino can.") Without him — like Chuck Berry and Little Richard — rock music wouldn’t have been what it was.

To put his popularity in 21st-century terms:

Fats Domino hit the R&B charts an incredible 63 times. That’s more than modern superstars like Mariah Carey, Usher, or T-Pain.

And he hit the mainstream Top 40 pop charts 25 times, which is more than 50 Cent, Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood, or the Jackson 5.

RIP, Fats Domino.