News / Arts & Entertainment

Famed US Soul Singer Fontella Bass Dies

Fontella Bass performs during the Pioneer Awards at New York's Apollo Theatre, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2001. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)
Fontella Bass performs during the Pioneer Awards at New York's Apollo Theatre, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2001. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)
Reuters
American soul singer Fontella Bass, who topped the R&B chart in 1965 with the song "Rescue Me," died in St. Louis. She was 72.

Bass died in hospice care on the night of December 26 from complications of a heart attack she suffered three weeks ago, her daughter, Neuka Mitchell, told Reuters. Bass had also suffered from strokes in recent years.

"She's going to be missed," Mitchell said. "Her big personality. Her love for family. Her big, giving heart and her cooking."

She was known as the "queen of soul food" to her family, Mitchell said.

Bass was born into a singing family in St. Louis. Her mother, Martha Bass, was a singer in the Clara Ward Singers gospel group. Her brother, the late R&B singer David Peaston, scored a handful of hits in the 1980s and 1990s.

Bass first achieved success dueting with Bobby McClure in 1965 on songs such as "Don't Mess Up A Good Thing" and "You'll Miss Me (When I'm Gone)," both of which were hits on the pop and R&B charts.

Bass' biggest hit came with "Rescue Me," which shot up the Billboard pop charts in the fall of 1965, becoming one of the most popular soul hits of all time.

"It held a special place in her heart," Mitchell said of the song. "She sang it every time she performed."

The song has been covered and sampled numerous times over the years, including by pop stars Linda Ronstadt and Cher, and more recently in 2000 by UK group Nu Generation, who remixed the song into a dance track.

Nu Generation's remix, "In Your Arms (Rescue Me)" hit the top 10 of the UK singles chart.



Bass had moderate success in later years with a gospel album in the 1990s, but was unable to emulate the popularity set by "Rescue Me."

She was married to jazz trumpeter and composer Lester Bowie. The two spent time living in Europe in the late 1960s and early 1970s before moving back to the United States.

Funeral arrangements for Bass have not been finalized. The singer is survived by her four children.

"Rescue Me" was covered by many artists. Here are Billboard's top five covers.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller has made a name for herself appearing with such high-profile artists as Beyonce, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Tia and her quartet performed music from her CD “Angelic Warrior” on our latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."