Soul singer Fontella Bass passes away at 72

Best known for the hit "Rescue Me," Bass retired from music to raise a family with trumpeter Lester Bowie.

Soul singer Fontella Bass has passed away at the age of 72.

The "Rescue Me" hitmaker died at a St. Louis, Mo., hospice center on Wednesday after suffering complications from a heart attack.

The star, whose mother was gospel singer Martha Bass, began singing in a local choir when she was just six years old and she later joined her mom on the road as she toured with the Clara Ward Singers. Bass signed to Chess Records and released two collaborations with Bobby McClure – “Don't Mess Up a Good Thing” and “You'll Miss Me (When I'm Gone)” – in 1965, before finding global fame with the smash-hit “Rescue Me.”

Video: Fontella Bass performing "Rescue Me"

She followed that with the hits “Recovery,” “I Can't Rest” and “You'll Never Know.” Following the release of her second album in 1972, Bass retired from music to focus on her family with her jazz trumpeter husband Lester Bowie.


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