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Clifton Chenier "King of Zydeco" honored with day June 25

Posted at 1:34 PM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 14:34:14-04

Grammy-winning artist and Opelousas native Clifton Chenier has been honored with a day in his name by the Louisiana House of Representatives.

June 25, from 2021 through 2025 will honor the life of the King Of Zydeco for his musical contributions.

“Clifton Chenier has played such a critical role in the development of zydeco music as well has also helped to shape the history of our area,” said Melanie Lebouef, city of Opelousas tourism director.“Because of this, it is important to properly honor his legacy and contributions.

2025 will mark the 100th anniversary of Chenier’s birth and a newly formed committee is making sure this day is recognized. The Clifton Chenier Centennial Committee submitted House Resolution 129 and began meeting to discuss activities and projects that will honor the landmark day.

Members include Lebouef; Herman Fuselier, executive director of the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission; Rod Sias and Lola Love of the Zydeco Historical and Preservation Society; Patrick Guillory of the Original Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival; Paul Scott, zydeco music enthusiast; Felicia Chenier of Morgan State University and Chenier’s granddaughter; and Tracey Antee, founder of Gumbo Life.

“Clifton Chenier is one of the most decorated musicians to come out of the state of Louisiana,” said Fuselier. “Countless musicians, from today’s zydeco players to Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, have claimed Chenier as a major influence. The music world changed the day Clifton picked up an accordion.”

The purpose of the committee is to honor the birth of the musician through special projects and activities. The Chenier resolution is scheduled on the June meeting agendas of St. Landry Parish Council and Opelousas City Council.