NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Art Neville, founding member of The Meters and The Neville Brothers, has passed away according to family. He was 81.
Neville, who was a vocalist and keyboardist, was born in New Orleans on December 17, 1937.
At the age of 17, Neville joined the band The Hawkettes who found success with the now classic song “Mardi Gras Mambo”.
He later formed the band The Meters in 1964 with George Porter Jr., Leo Nocentelli and Zigaboo Modeliste. The group served as the session and live band for other legends such as Allen Toussaint.
After The Meters split up in 1977, Neville joined his brothers Aaron, Charles and Cyril to form the Neville Brothers. The group went on to win a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental in 1989 for their song “Healing Chant”. He would later win another Grammy in the same category for his collaboration with Jimmie Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Dr. John for “SRV Shuffle”.
Neville announced his retirement from performing in December.
“Louisiana lost an icon today. Whether it was singing with the Neville Brothers or mamboing with The Meters, Art Neville took the unique sound of New Orleans and played it for the world to enjoy," Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement.