Soul singer Fontella Bass, best known for her 1965 hit “Rescue Me,” has died. She was 72.
According to the Associated Press, the St. Louis-born songstress passed away Wednesday night from complications from a heart attack she suffered three weeks ago. Her daughter, Neuka Mitchell, says Bass had also suffered a series of strokes over the past seven years.
“She was an outgoing person,” Mitchell added. “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.”
Bass was the product of a very musical family. Her mother, gospel singer Martha Bass, was one of the Clara Ward Singers and her brother David Peaston rose to fame in the late ’80s and early ’90s with several R&B hits. Peaston died in February at age 54.
After getting her start at age six in her church’s choir, Bass went on to headline gigs at the Showboat Club in north St. Louis. She later nabbed a recording contract with Chess Records as a duet artist. Over the span of her career, Bass released eight albums including 2001’s Travelin’.
In 2000, she was inducted into the St. Louis Hall of Fame.
Bass is survived by four children. Her husband, jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie, died in 1999.