Allen Toussaint (; January 14, 1938 – November 10, 2015) was an American musician, songwriter, arranger and record producer, who was an influential figure in New Orleans R&B from the 1950s to the end of the century, described as "one of popular music’s great backroom figures." Many musicians recorded Toussaint's compositions, including "Java", "Mother-in-Law", "I Like It Like That", "Fortune Teller", "Ride Your Pony", "Get Out of My Life, Woman", "Working in the Coal Mine", "Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky", "Here Come the Girls", "Yes We Can Can", "Play Something Sweet", and "Southern Nights". He was a producer for hundreds of recordings, among the best known of which are "Right Place, Wrong Time", by his longtime friend Dr. John ("Mac" Rebennack), and "Lady Marmalade", by Labelle.
Toussaint died in the early hours of November 10, 2015, in Madrid, Spain, while on tour. Following a concert at the Teatro Lara on Calle Corredera Baja de San Pablo, he had a heart attack at his hotel and was pronounced dead on his arrival at hospital. He was 77. He had been due to perform a sold-out concert at the EFG London Jazz Festival at The Barbican on November 15 with his band and Theo Croker. He was also scheduled to play with Paul Simon at a benefit concert in New Orleans on 8 December. His final recording, American Tunes, titled after the Paul Simon song, which he sings on the album, was released by Nonesuch Records on June 10, 2016.
Toussaint’s one marriage ended in divorce. He is survived by his two children, Clarence (better known as Reginald) and Alison, and several grandchildren. His children had managed his career in his last years.
Writing in the New York Times, Ben Sisario quoted Quint Davis, producer of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival: "In the pantheon of New Orleans music people, from Jelly Roll Morton to Mahalia Jackson to Fats—that’s the place where Allen Toussaint is in". Paul Simon said, "We were friends and colleagues for almost 40 years.... We played together at the New Orleans jazz festival. We played the benefits for Katrina relief. We were about to perform together on December 8. I was just beginning to think about it; now I’ll have to think about his memorial. I am so sad."