US zydeco music star Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural Jr has died aged 68.
The accordionist had been suffering from lung cancer, his manager Ted Fox said.
Ted described Stanley, who introduced zydeco music of south-west Louisiana to the world with his band Buckwheat Zydeco, as “one of the world’s true genius musicians”.
“(He was) a completely natural musician who could just fit in in any scenario,” Ted added.
Stanley took zydeco music mainstream, launching a major-label album — the Grammy-nominated On A Night Like This — with Island Records in 1987.
He went on to tour with Eric Clapton, play at former president Bill Clinton’s inauguration and perform at the 1996 Olympics closing ceremony in Atlanta.
Stanley also performed with Jimmy Fallon on the final episode of his US show Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, before the comedian’s move to The Tonight Show.
Tributes flooded in from the music world following Stanley’s death on Saturday at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Centre in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Neil Portnow, president of The Recording Academy, said: “Buckwheat Zydeco embodied a genre and represented a community with his signature playing style that brought distinctly creole zydeco music to fans across the globe. The world lost a music heavyweight today.”
Stanley earned his nickname because he had braided hair when he was younger that resembled Buckwheat from The Little Rascals television show.
Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, he was one of 13 children. Stanley is survived by his wife, Bernite Dural, and his five children.