Fats Domino | via NPR

New Orleans-born piano player Antoine “Fats” Domino — who got his start playing rhythm and blues and went on to write and record hit songs that would form the foundation of rock and roll in the 1950s — has passed away, according to a report in the New York Times. He was 89 years old.

Domino earned more than three dozen top 40 hits in the 50s and 60s, selling 65 million singles, with 23 certified gold records. As the Times says, he was second only to Elvis Presley in terms of hits, and Presely acknowledged him as a hero. From the Times:

“A lot of people seem to think I started this business,” Presley told Jet magazine in 1957. “But rock ’n’ roll was here a long time before I came along. … Let’s face it: I can’t sing it like Fats Domino can. I know that.”

Listen to a roundup of Fats Domino’s biggest hits below.