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PASSINGS: Fontella Bass
PASSINGS: Fontella Bass

Fontella Bass, 72, a St. Louis-born soul singer who hit the top of the R&B charts with "Rescue Me" in 1965, died Wednesday at a St. Louis hospice of complications from a heart attack suffered three weeks ago, said her daughter, Neuka Mitchell. Bass had also suffered a series of strokes over the last seven years. Bass was born in 1940 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. Bass began performing at a young age, singing in her church's choir at age 6. She was surrounded by music, often traveling on...

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