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Dr John completed final album before death
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Dr. John completed a final album before his death.

The six-time Grammy Award-winning musician - who was born Malcolm John Rebennack - died of a heart attack aged 77 earlier this month, and guitarist Shane Theriot, who worked on the record with his pal, who he calls Mac, admits the late star knew "towards the end" it would be his last-ever album.

He said: "Towards the beginning, I don't think Mac realised it would probably be his last record, but towards the end, I think he knew.

"It would break my heart because he would come to my house, and I knew he wasn't feeling great, and Mac's work ethic, he was old school; he grew up doing five sets a night.

"And so he told me on several occasions, he would say, 'Whatever we gotta do, we gotta do it. We gotta get it done, Sha-zane. Whatever, we gotta do to finish this motherf***er, we gotta finish it.' "

After completing the album, Dr. John told Shane - who he nicknamed Sha-zane - he had "made the right choice".

Speaking to Rolling Stone magazine, Shane added: "We sat and listened to everything twice.

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"He was singing along and had a big grin on his face. Then he walked me out to my car, stared at me and said, 'I'm glad. I made the right choice.'

"And then he hugged and kissed me on the cheek."

The title and release date of the record are not yet known, but it is expected to include a mix of originals as well as some of his reworked classics.

Among the songs are 'Old Time Religion', a duet with Willie Nelson, as well as tunes with Aaron Neville and Rickie Lee Jones.

Shane added: "Mac got to hear it and live with it and make suggestions. This was one of his creations."

Following his death, a tweet posted on the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame inductee's official account read: "Towards the break of day June 6, iconic music legend Malcolm John Rebennack, Jr., known as Dr. John, passed away of a heart attack. The family thanks all whom shared his unique musical journey & requests privacy at this time. Memorial arrangements will be announced in due course. (sic)"

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This article originally ran on celebretainment.com.

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