American soul singer Fontella Bass, who topped the R&B chart in 1965 with the song “Rescue Me,” died in St. Louis. She was 72.
Bass was born into a singing family in St. Louis. Her mother, Martha Bass, was a singer in the Clara Ward Singers gospel group. Her brother, the late R&B singer David Peaston, scored a handful of hits in the 1980s and 1990s.
Bass first achieved success dueting with Bobby McClure in 1965 on songs such as “Don’t Mess Up A Good Thing” and “You’ll Miss Me (When I’m Gone),” both of which were hits on the pop and R&B charts.
Bass’ biggest hit came with “Rescue Me,” which shot up the Billboard pop charts in the fall of 1965, becoming one of the most popular soul hits of all time.
“It held a special place in her heart,” Mitchell said of the song. “She sang it every time she performed.”
The song has been covered and sampled numerous times over the years, including by pop stars Linda Ronstadt and Cher, and more recently in 2000 by UK group Nu Generation, who remixed the song into a dance track.
• Fontella Bass: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fontella_Bass