Pamela Rose Hutchinson of the Emotions has died. The songbird was 61 years old.
The Hutchinson family shared the news on the R&B group’s Facebook fan page on September 20, noting that the singer passed away on September 18. “Pam succumbed to health challenges that she’d been battling for several years,” the post read. “Now our beautiful sister will sing amongst the angels in heaven in perfect peace.”
The family asked for privacy but encouraged fans to celebrate their sister’s life with old photos, videos and kind words. “A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered,” the post continued. “We love you, Pamela!”
The Emotions got their start in their native Chicago as a Gospel group known as the Hutchinson Sunbeams, which featured sisters Shelia, Jeanette and Wanda. The trio later ventured into R&B and disco, with baby sister Pamela replacing Jeanette following her departure from the group. The Emotions are best known for their angelic harmonies and their hit single “Best of My Love.”
“Best of My Love” earned the group a Grammy in 1978 for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group and a platinum plaque for their mantle. Other popular songs from the group include “Flowers,” “Don’t Ask My Neighbor” and “I Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love.”
During their career, the Emotions recorded nine albums, two of which went gold (Flowers and Sunbeam) and one of which was certified platinum (Rejoice). In 1979, the Emotions earned another Grammy nod for their epic collaboration on Earth, Wind & Fire’s disco smash “Boogie Wonderland.”
In 2006, the Emotions teamed up with Snoop Dogg on a song titled “Life,” from his 2006 album, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment. Many artists sampled the famed group, including Tamia, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey and Toni Braxton.