Jo El Sonnier Death – Grammy Award-winning Cajun and country artist Jo-El Sonnier has passed away. Louisiana Cajun musician Jo El Sonnier was confirmed dead yesterday. He died following his performance in Llano, Texas, where he suffered a major heart attack. Jo El Sonnier was 77 years old at the time of his passing.
“The older you get, the more frequent death visits. It’s never expected, but some hit harder than others. We spent more time on the phone or visiting than we did on stage. Sadly, it’s been quite some time since we did that. Jo-EL Sonnier was my friend and mentor. My father and grandmother were among his biggest fans. May he rest in peace.”
Jo El Sonnier Biography
Jo-El Sonnier, born on October 2, 1946, in Rayne, Louisiana, emerged as a musical talent from a young age, showcasing his accordion skills on the radio by age six and recording his first tracks at 11.
Despite initial independent releases and four albums during his teenage years, success in the country music scene eluded him at Mercury Nashville Records in the 1970s. He temporarily shifted his focus to Cajun music with Rounder Records, earning a Grammy nomination despite limited commercial success.
Returning to country music in the 1980s, he signed with RCA Records and found success with hits like “No More One More Time” and a cover of Richard Thompson’s “Tear Stained Letter,” both reaching the Top 10 on country charts.
Moving to Capitol Records in the 1990s, his solo career waned, but he thrived as a session musician and briefly explored acting. Jo-El Sonnier returned to Rounder Records in the late 1990s, earning Grammy nominations for albums like “Cajun Pride” (1997) and “Cajun Blood” (2001).
In 2009, he was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. His diverse career included a cameo in HBO’s True Detective and culminated in a Grammy win on February 8, 2015, for Best Regional Roots Music Album.
Jo El Sonnier obituary and funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date by the family.
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