Reports from the Hurricane Katrina disaster zone Sunday say the American singer and musician Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown has died at the age of 81, shortly after he was forced to leave his home just outside New Orleans.

According to Associated Press, Brown died Saturday in Orange, Texas, the town where he grew up. He reportedly had suffered from both lung cancer and heart disease.

For 50 years Brown's career was based in New Orleans, where he played guitar and sang blues, country, jazz, zydeco and Cajun music. The nickname "Gatemouth" derived from Brown's distinctive deep voice. His early blues hits included Okie Dokie Stomp and Ain't That Dandy.

Some information for this report provided by AP.