Soul singer best know for the 1965 R&B chart-topper “Rescue Me” died Wednesday at a St. Louis hospice form complications to the hearth attack she suffered three weeks ago, her daughter, Neuka Mitchell, said. The 72-years-old health started fading after a series of strokes beginning in 2005. Four children survive bass. She was married to jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie, who died in 1999.
‘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.’
Fontella Bass July 3, 1940 in St. Louis, Missouri, she was the daughter the daughter of gospel singer Martha Bass. At an early age, Fontella show great musical talent. She began singing R&B songs at local contests and fairs while attending Soldan High School where she graduated from in 1958.
“Rescue Me”, which she was first introduced to while staying at the Sullivan Hotel in Chicago on a hot day in early August, 1965 by the authors Raynard Miner and Carl William Smith. Fontella Bass has stated that she was at a low point in her life when on New Year’s Day 1990 she was astonished to hear her own voice singing “Rescue Me” on the American Express television ad.
“I had the first million seller for Chess since Chuck Berry about 10 years before. Things were riding high for them, but when it came time to collect my first royalty check, I looked at it, saw how little it was, tore it up and threw it back across the desk.”
Like many artists of her time, Bass experienced a revival of interest. She was featured on the PBS Special and accompanying DVD, Soul Celebration. Soul Spectacular recorded live at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, PA, November 2001. Her voice can be heard on two tracks on The Cinematic Orchestra’s 2002 album Every Day, and another two tracks on their 2007 album Ma Fleur.
Bass received a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame in the Loop in May 2000. She was the older sister of the R&B singer David Peaston
Her Albums are
1966 The New Look
1970 Les Stance a Sophie with the Art Ensemble of Chicago
1980 From the Root to the Source
1992 Rescued: The Best of Fontella Bass
1995 No Way Tired
1996 Now That I Found a Good Thing
Funeral arrangements for Bass are still being finalized. She is survived by four children.
The Guardian Express sends out our condolences to her family and love ones.
Rest in Peace to Singer Fontella Bass