Cajun country artist Jo-El Sonnier passed away on Saturday, Jan. 13 at the age of 77.
He died following a heart attack after a performance in Llano, Texas. Texas promoter Tracy Pitcox posted the news on his Facebook account on Sunday (Jan. 14). Sonnier had reportedly ended his show with a performance of his hit ‘Tear Stained Letter,’ receiving a standing ovation.
With a career that spanned decades, Sonnier demonstrated a talent for music early on. Born in Rayne, Louisiana to French-speaking sharecroppers, he learned to play the accordion at three, was on the radio by six and recorded his first songs at 11. He released several independent singles and albums as a teenager, and later signed with Mercury Records Nashville in the 1970s. Upon signing with RCA Records in the 1980s, he released hits like “No More One More Time” and “Tear Stained Letter.”
He later recorded for Capitol Records and Rounder Records and briefly explored acting, even making an appearance in the HBO series True Detective. Sonnier’s albums Cajun Pride and Cajun Blood received Grammy nominations, and he won a Grammy for best regional roots album for The Legacy in 2015. He was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2009.
Details regarding services have not yet been announced.
- CountryLine Radio Brings Garth Brooks’ The BIG 615 To The U.K. - February 27, 2024
- Ryan Beaver Signs With Spirit Music Nashville/2 Mix Music - February 27, 2024
- Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots’ Seventh ‘Million Dollar Show’ Set For April - February 27, 2024