Popularized in dance halls across the state's southwest, Dural took the music mainstream, playing at former President Bill Clinton's inauguration and at the 1996 Olympics closing ceremony in Atlanta.
"It's a tough one for us and the entire Zydeco community and the greater music community", family friend Dustin Cravins told the "New Orleans Times-Picayune" newspaper on Saturday.
Ted Fox, Buckwheat Zydeco's personal manager and frequent producer and collaborator since 1986, said Dural's native music from southwest Louisiana had a global impact.
The musician, who died of complications from lung cancer, garnered tributes from the high echelons of the music industry.
Throughout his career, Dural and Buckwheat Zydeco continued to incorporate elements from contemporary black music into zydeco for a mix that took him to stages around the world.
It is with deep sadness that I have to announce that our great, beloved leader Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, Jr. has passed away, "Fox wrote on Facebook (via Rolling Stone)". His last studio album was 2009's Lay Your Burden Down, which won a Grammy for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album.
Born in Lafayette, La., in 1947, Dural earned the nickname "Buckwheat" in his youth based on his resemblance to the "Little Rascals" character.
Zydeco music was once largely unknown outside of Louisiana where people would often drive for miles to small dancehalls where zydeco bands featured an accordion and a washboard. In the late 1950s, still a teenager, Dural was backing up musicians and eventually formed his own band. As the demand grew for Zydeco bands, Dural was offered a gig playing organ for the "King of Zydeco", the late Clifton Chenier. "We bid farewell to the legend that is Buckwheat Zydeco". In 1987 Dural signed with Island Records becoming the first Zydeco artist to be signed to a major label.
"Many people in Louisiana know that Buck was a musical legend and the preeminent ambassador of zydeco music", said Fox.
He is survived by his wife Bernite Dural and their daughter Tomorrow Lynn Dural, as well as his sons Sir Reginald M. Dural and Stanley Paul Dural III, daughters April Germain Dural, and Stacie Durham.