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'Rescue Me' Singer Fontella Bass Dies at 72

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Fontella Bass
Fontella Bass
Photo Credit: Michael Putland/Getty Images

It's another sad day for music lovers. Great soul and R&B singer Fontella Bass died yesterday. She was 72.

According to the Associated Press, Bass passed at a St. Louis hospice of complications from a heart attack she suffered three weeks ago. Bass's daughter, Neuka Mitchell, said her mother suffered a number of health setbacks over the years, including several strokes.

"She was an outgoing person," said Mitchell. "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."

The St. Louis-born singer rose to fame in 1965 with her hit "Rescue Me," which landed at number one on the R&B charts and number four on the Billboard charts. In Bass's 47-year career she released eight albums. Her latest album, Travelin', was released in 2001.

Bass was born into a very musical family. Her late mother was Martha Bass, a member of the Clara Ward Singers, and Bass's younger brother, David Peaston, was a well-known '80s and '90s R&B singer.

Bass is survived by four children. Her husband, Lester Bowie, a trumpet and jazz musician, died in 1999.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

In her memory, watch this video of Bass performing her 1965 hit below.

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