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Singer Fontella Bass dies

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Soul Singer Fontella Bass, who became famous with hits such as “Rescue Me” has died. She was 72.

Fontella Bass in 1995 - Fontella Bass

Bass died Wednesday night at a St. Louis hospice of complications from a heart attack suffered three weeks ago, her daughter, Neuka Mitchell, said. Bass had also suffered a series of strokes over the past seven years.

“She was an outgoing person,” Mitchell said of her mother. “She had a very big personality. Any room she entered she just lit the room up, whether she was on stage or just going out to eat.”

She co-wrote “Rescue Me,” reaching No. 1 on the R&B charts and No. 4 on the Billboard pop singles chart. Bass’s powerful voice bore a striking resemblance to that of Aretha Franklin.

“Rescue Me” has been covered by many top artists, including Linda Ronstadt, Cher, Melissa Manchester and Pat Benatar. Aretha Franklin also sang a form of it too – as “Deliver Me” in a Pizza Hut TV ad in 1991.

Bass received a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame in the Loop in May 2000. Her health started fading after a series of strokes beginning in 2005.

She is survived by four children.

The Huffington Post contributed to this report.




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