R & B singer Ruth Brown, Nov. 17 Singer Ruth Brown, whose recordings of Teardrops in My Eyes, 5-10-15 Hours and (Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean made her a rhythm-and-blues star in the 1950s, died at a Las Vegas-area hospital on Friday, Nov. 17, 2006. She was 78. Brown sang a range of style from jazz to gospel-blues and into rock 'n' roll and, was praised in the R&B musical Staggerlee and won a Tony Award for best actress in the Broadway revue Black and Blue. She also played a feisty deejay in the 1988 cult movie Hairspray. A year later, she won a Grammy for best jazz vocal performance for the album "Blues on Broadway." She later became a popular host of National Public Radio's Harlem Hit Parade. "Ruth was one of the most important and beloved figures in modern music," singer Bonnie Raitt said. "You can hear her influence in everyone from Little Richard to Etta (James), Aretha (Franklin), Janis (Joplin) and divas like Christina Aguilera today ... She was my dear friend, and I will miss her terribly."
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