(Billboard) – Allen Toussaint died Monday night at the age of 77, but it will take awhile to fully appreciate his legacy.
The multi-talented songwriter, producer and musician, who helped define a sound in New Orleans in the 1960s and 1970s through his work with Irma Thomas, Lee Dorsey and, most notably, The Meters, worked with hundreds of artists in various capacities over his 60-year career. He’s recorded albums with Elvis Costello and Eric Clapton, had his songs covered by the Rolling Stones and Glen Campbell, played keys on albums with Paul McCartney and Paul Simon, arranged horns for The Band and, most recently, has seen his work revived as hip-hop has dug into his career.
Toussaint’s productions formed the DNA of The Meters’ tight, Nola funk sound, which caught the ear of a slew of legendary hip-hop producers; everyone from DJ Premier, the RZA and Q-Tip to the Bomb Squad, Timbaland and Salaam Remi to Organized Noize, will.i.am and J Dilla have used pieces of Toussaint’s work through the years. And his 1975 production for LaBelle, “Lady Marmalade” — a No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 when it was initially released — was famously re-created in 2001 by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya and Pink for the soundtrack to Moulin Rouge!, which also landed atop the chart.
To celebrate Allen Toussaint’s continuing legacy, Billboard takes a look back at 10 of the New Orleans native’s songs and productions that have been sampled in hip-hop.
See the full list here.