ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Fontella Bass, the St. Louis-born soul singer, died last night at the age of 72.
“She was an amazing person, she had a big personality,” Neuka Mitchell, a daughter of Bass, said Thursday morning.
Bass was the daughter of gospel great Martha Bass and sister of the Apollo star David Peaston who died earlier this year. She was best known for the 1965 R&B hit “Rescue Me” which spent a month atop the R&B charts and climbed to #4 on the pop charts, selling over a million copies.
Mitchell says “Rescue Me” is just one thing that her mother will be remembered for. “First of all, she put God first and family second and the next thing was music and food. She loved to spend time with her family.”
Bass got her start at the Showboat Club near Chain of Rocks, Missouri at the age of 17. After her children were grown, Bass relaunched her career as a gospel artist and received a Grammy nomination in 1995.
She was inducted into the St. Louis Hall of Fame in 2000. Her star on the Delmar Loop is in the 6600 block of Delmar.
A series of health problems starting around 2005 slowed her down and she suffered a heart attack earlier this month. Funeral arrangements are pending.