Rock 'n' roller and rhythm and blues artist who found his thrill on Blueberry Hill. He amassed five gold records before 1955.
He and his family were thought to have perished in Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 natural disaster that wiped out his hometown of New Orleans.
He had a cameo in the 1980 movie Any Which Way You Can starring Clint Eastwood.
His first nationwide hit, The Fat Man, was released in 1950 and sold one million copies. He crossed over into pop with Ain't That a Shame from 1955, although Pat Boone's version was the one to reach No. 1.
He married Rosemary Hall on August 6, 1948, and they had eight children together. His first language was Creole.