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PR- 406-07
November 8, 2007


Domino Has Supported New Orleans Musicians and Artists Through Tipitina’s Foundation

Honor Comes As Mayor Plans to Travel to New Orleans Next Week

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today presented the Key to the City to music legend Fats Domino in honor of his efforts to raise money for struggling musicians in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. After the hurricane, which destroyed Domino’s home in the Ninth Ward and forced his evacuation to Baton Rouge, Domino returned to New Orleans to rebuild his house and help restore the City’s morale. He donated the proceeds from his last album, Alive and Kickin’, and the publishing royalties from a tribute album, Goin’ Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino, to the Tipitina’s Foundation, a organization dedicated to keeping New Orleans culture thriving by supporting local musicians. The Mayor, who made the presentation at a tribute concert benefiting Tipitina’s Foundation at Pink Elephant in Chelsea on Thursday night, will travel to New Orleans on November 16th to address the National League of Cities’ Congress of Cities and tour areas affect by Hurricane Katrina including the Ninth Ward.

“The Big Easy has always been a capital of American culture and music – from jazz and rock to soul and R&B – and one of the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina was that it devastated the artists and musicians that made New Orleans their home,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Through the power of his warm personality and love for his great city, Fats Domino – already a revered founder of rock and roll – has tirelessly donated his time and money to support the Crescent City’s musical heritage and for that great service, I am honored to present him with the Key to New York City.” 

“It’s an honor to be recognized by Mayor Bloomberg and the citizens of New York,” said Domino. “Even though it’s been twenty years since my last trip the Mayor and many others are making me feel right at home. I’m here to tell New York City that the people of New Orleans know that you have stood by us in tough times and, like you, we are survivors and will always have that in common.”  
Born in New Orleans in 1928, Antoine “Fats” Dominique is known for his virtuoso singing, piano playing and songwriting, along with an infectious smile and genial demeanor. A pioneer of rock and roll, Domino outsold every 50s-era rocker besides Elvis Presley in his long and storied career. Between 1950 and 1963, Domino had 37 Top Forty singles and hit the R&B singles chart 59 times. He was inducted into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame in 1986.

The Tipitina’s Foundation provides music education and supports working musicians in New Orleans and the Gulf Region. Since Hurricane Katrina, the Foundation has donated the equivalent of over $1 million of instruments to New Orleans-area schools and sponsored programs to benefit musicians of all ages. Donations of money and musical instruments can be made online at

Past recipients of the Key to the City include opera singers Placido Domingo and Beverly Sills, Muhammad Ali, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mother Theresa and the 1980 US Olympic Hockey team.
The practice of presenting a key to an individual may be traced back to medieval times, when admission into a city was hampered by many legal restrictions, as well as by walls and locked gates. The key symbolized free entry. Today, the presentation honors outstanding civic contributions of the recipients.


Stu Loeser/Matthew Kelly   (212) 788-2958

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