R.I.P. Art Neville of the Meters / Neville Brothers

The New Orleans funk legend was 81
R.I.P. Art Neville of the Meters / Neville Brothers
Art Neville of the Meters and Neville Brothers has died. According to various media reports, Neville passed away earlier today. While no official cause of death has been revealed, Neville had been suffering from years of declining health. He was 81.

"It was peaceful," said the artist's longtime manager Kent Sorrell in a statement to Nola.com. "He passed away at home with his adoring wife Lorraine by his side."

Art "Poppa Funk" Neville served as the singer/keyboard player for the famed New Orleans units the Meters and Neville Brothers, with the musician co-founding both groups.

Born Arthur Lanon Neville on Dec. 17, 1937, in New Orleans, Neville founded his family's eponymous band in 1976 with his brothers, Aaron, Cyril and Charles. Throughout their decades-long career, they became a cornerstone of the New Orleans funk scene.

In 1989, their hit album Yellow Moon — produced by Daniel Lanois — went on to win the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental with "Healing Chant."

With the Meters, Neville also left a lasting marks on the R&B/funk scene, spinning out such classics as "Sophisticated Cissy," "Fire on the Bayou," "Here Comes the Meter Man," "Look-Ka Py Py," "Cissy Strut" and "Hey Pocky A-Way."

Over Neville's stories career, he worked with the likes of Paul McCartney, Lee Dorsey, Robert Palmer, Dr. John and Labelle. He was also the voice of the enduring Carnival season anthem "Mardi Gras Mambo."