Musician Buckwheat Zydeco has lost his battle with lung cancer at the age of 68.
The accordionist passed away on Saturday (24Sep16) at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Zydeco, real name Stanley Dural, Jr., began playing the organ professionally in the 1950s and went on to work with Joe Tex, Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown, and many others.
In 1971, he founded the Buckwheat & the Hitchhikers funk band and found success with the song It's Hard To Get. After five years with the group he moved on to perform with zydeco artists, including Clifton Chenier and he learned how to play the accordion in 1978. He then formed his own band under his stage name and opened for Eric Clapton in 1988. The group became the first zydeco act to sign a major recording contract and was also nominated for a Grammy Award in 1983 and 1985.
During his career, Zydeco worked with musicians including Keith Richards, Robert Plant, Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, Paul Simon, and his music was featured in several films like The Waterboy, The Big Easy, Fletch Lives and Hard Target. He also won an Emmy Award for his music in TV movie Pistol Pete: The Life And Times Of Pete Maravich.
His final album, Lay Your Burden Down, was released in 2009 and was nominated for a Grammy Award.