Soul singer Fontella Bass dies aged 72

Fri, Dec 28, 2012, 00:00

American soul singer Fontella Bass, who topped the R&B chart in 1965 with the song Rescue Me, has died in St Louis, Missouri. She was 72.

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

“She’s going to be missed,” Ms 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, Ms Mitchell added.

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 RB charts.

Bass’s 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,” Ms Mitchell said of the song. “She sang it every time she performed.” – (Reuters)