Blues singer Phoebe Snow, who made her mark in the music industry with the 1974 hit “Poetry Man,” died from complications of a brain haemorrhage in Edison, N.J. on April 26, her public relations representative told the Associated Press. She was 60.
The singer suffered a stroke last year and faced blood clots, congestive heart failure and pneumonia, her manager, Sue Cameron, told the AP.
The Grammy-nominated Snow released 16 albums and was nominated for the best new artist Grammy Award in 1975.
That same year, the Teaneck, N.J., native fell from the public consciousness after the birth of her daughter, who was severely brain-damaged. According to the AP, her husband left the family soon after the baby’s birth and Snow abandoned the industry to care for her daughter Valerie Rose. She released her last album, Natural Wonder, in 2003, two years after her daughter’s death.
Snow’s voice may have reached one of its largest audiences in the late ‘80s with the jingle for the popular Black sitcom Cosby Show spin-off “A Different World” which starred Jasmine Guy, Kadeem Hardison, Lisa Bonet and others. The sitcom’s intro song during the first segments of the sitcom, and later rendition by soul star Aretha Franklin’s, became synonymous with the show’s six-season run. Snow also lent her voice to the “Celebrate the Moments of Your Life” jingle for General Foods International Coffees.
While Snow’s dark brown, tightly coiled hair led many fans to believe she was African American, the AP reports the singer, born Phoebe Ann Laub, was born to White Jewish parents. She never asserted or denied her ethnic background.