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Tony-winning Gospel Singer Linda Hopkins Dies at 92

  • Associated Press

FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2006 file photo, jazz and blues singer Linda Hopkins performs during a ceremony unveiling a new postage stamp honoring Hattie McDaniel, the first African American to win an Academy Award for her role in "Gone With the Wind,"in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Actress and gospel singer Linda Hopkins, who won a Tony Award in 1972 for the musical "Inner City," died Monday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, according to her great-niece Hazel Lindsey. She was 92.

Inspired by blues singer Bessie Smith, Hopkins wrote and starred in 1974's one-woman musical "Me and Bessie," and was later nominated for a Tony for musical "Black and Blue."

The New Orleans-born singer toured with Sammy Davis Jr. and jazz musician Branford Marsalis. Her film and television appearances include Clint Eastwood's "Honkytonk Man," the miniseries "King" and 1979's "Roots: The Next Generations."

Hopkins, whose biggest hit was a cover of "Shake a Hand" with Jackie Wilson, made her singing debut in church at age 3. When she was 11, she was discovered by gospel icon Mahalia Jackson.

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