Art Neville, the legendary singer and keyboardist from the Neville Brothers and The Meters, died on Monday at his home in New Orleans. He was 81 years of age.
His manager Kent Sorrell issued a statement via email and said a loved one was next to him when he passed away.
“Art ‘Poppa Funk’ Neville passed away peacefully this morning at home with his adoring wife Lorraine by his side,” wrote Sorrell.
A New Orleans native, Neville began singing as a child and then performed with The Meters in the 1960s. Leo Nocentelli, George Porter Jr. and Zigaboo Modeliste were the other members in the group.
Then Neville began recording with his brothers Aaron, Cyril and Charles in 1977, and they churned out hits like “Sister Rosa” as well as “Healing Chant.”
Later, Neville played with the band The Funky Meters, who were made up of some of the original Meters members. He toured with that band up until 2018 and then retired.
Throughout his career, Neville won several Grammy Awards and was given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award last year.
Upon hearing the news of his passing, other musicians gave their tributes, including New Orleans-based keyboardist Nigel Hall.
“Grateful to have known you, sir. Thank you. RIP POPPA FUNK,” he wrote Monday on Instagram.
New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell also sent a statement.
“New Orleans has lost another legend,” she wrote Monday on Facebook. “We are poorer for his passing, and richer for having known him. Generations of New Orleanians grew up on the sounds that Art Neville laid down over the decades. Art’s spirit lives on in his immediate and extended family: including his brothers, his son, daughter, and nephew.”
Neville’s cause of death hasn’t been revealed yet, but he reportedly had been battling health issues for quite some time.