Zydeco had suffered from health problems in recent years, and passed away from a battle with lung cancer on Friday (September 24). His manager, Ted Fox, later issued a statement.
“It is with deep sadness that I have to announce that our great, beloved leader Stanley ‘Buckwheat’ Dural, Jr. has passed away,” Fox wrote on Facebook (via Rolling Stone). He died at 1:32 AM Louisiana time, keeping musician’s hours right to the bitter end.
“I am grieving for my best friend and colleague of more than 30 years,” Fox continued. “But, as this great road warrior once said: ‘Life is a tour, and it’s all about how you decide to get where you’re going…I don’t want to ignore the bad things in life, but I want to emphasize the good things.’ Buck made everything and everyone he touched better and happier. RIP my dear friend, my brother.”
The Louisiana musician – born Stanley Dural, Jr. – made his name performing with his band, Buckwheat Zydeco and Ils Sont Partis Band (though they later reverted to performing under Zydeco’s name). Zydeco was invited by Eric Clapton to open for him on his 1988 North American tour after earning rave reviews for his band’s live shows. The year before, they’d signed to Island Records to release their first album on a major label, ‘On A Night Like This’.
Zydeco released 25 albums across his career, while also collaborating with the likes of Keith Richards, Paul Simon and U2, often in the live arena.