Published Dec 27, 2012Fontella Bass, the soul singer best known for the iconic R&B hit "Rescue Me," died on Boxing Day (December 26) due to complications stemming from a heart attack she suffered three weeks ago. She was 72 years old.
The St. Louis-born singer passed away in a hospice in her hometown. The Guardian reports that she had been struggling with her health for several years, and she had survived several strokes since 2005.
Bass, who occasionally performed in bands as a pianist, started her career in the '60s, and found some success singing duets with Bobby McClure. Her major breakthrough came in 1965 with "Rescue Me," which topped the R&B charts and since appeared in countless films and commercials.
She continued to release music over the decades, but never recreated the success of her big hit. She is predeceased by her mother, gospel vocalist Martha Bass (a member of the Clara Ward Singers), and her brother, successful R&B artist David Peaston. She is survived by her four children.