Jazz drummer Ed Shaughnessy has died after suffering a heart attack. He was 84.

He passed away at his home in California on Friday (24May13), according to the Los Angeles Times.

Perhaps best known for his nearly three-decade long stint as a performer on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Shaughnessy was born in New Jersey and began practising drums when he was 14.

The star went on to play in jazz groups with the likes of Billie Holiday and Horace Silver, before going on to work with Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix and composer Charles Mingus.

He was also hired to perform with Doc Severinsen's The Tonight Show Band and he played with them until 1992, when U.S. comedian Jay Leno took over as host.

Shaughnessy later taught private lessons and conducted more than 500 clinics at high schools and colleges. He was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 2004.

The star married Ilene Woods, the voice of Cinderella in the 1950 Disney classic, in 1963 and they stayed together until her death in 2010. They had two sons, James and Daniel.