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Home Arts & Entertainment Originally published December 27, 2012

“Rescue Me” Singer Fontella Bass Dies at 72

by Associated Press

    In this Sept. 2, 2001 file photo, Fontella Bass performs at the Big Muddy Blues Festival on Laclede's Landing in St. Louis. The St. Louis-born soul singer who hit the top of the R&B charts with “Rescue Me” in 1965, died Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, of complications from a heart attack suffered three weeks ago. She was 72. Photo Credit/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jerry Naunheim, Jr. (AP Photo)
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Fontella Bass, a St. Louis-born soul singer who hit the top of the R&B charts with “Rescue Me” in 1965, has died.

The singer’s daughter, Neuka Mitchell, said Bass died at a St. Louis hospice Dec. 26 of complications from a heart attack suffered three weeks earlier. She was 72. Bass had also suffered several strokes since 2005.

Bass was born into a family with deep musical roots. Her mother was gospel singer Martha Bass, one of the Clara Ward Singers. Her younger brother, David Peaston, had a string of R&B hits in the 1980s and 1990s. Peaston died in February at age 54.

Her surviving family includes four children. Her husband, jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie, died in 1999. Funeral arrangements are pending.