New Orleans producer, songwriter, performer and overall legend Allen Toussaint passed away following a Monday (Nov. 9) concert in Madrid at age 77. One of Toussaint's biggest hits was as the producer of the landmark 1974 album Nightbirds from LaBelle. In a statement given to Billboard, Patti LaBelle -- who worked with him as part of LaBelle and as a solo artist -- pays tribute to her friend and collaborator. "Allen was a gentle giant! Perceptive, kind and always open to your input and feelings," LaBelle says. "He knew how to listen and never offended. He also introduced me to shrimp sandwiches, which I still love today! I just can't say enough good things about him! He wrote a special song for me, 'Don't Make Your Angel Cry,' and I'll be singing that for him at my next show." ("Don't Make Your Angel Cry" is taken from her 1980 solo album Released, which Toussaint produced.) "Allen was one classy man and I will truly miss him! My condolences and prayers go out his family and all of his loved ones!"