St. Louis Legend Fontella Bass, Dead at 72
The great R&B and Gospel singer was best known for her 1965 hit, Rescue Me.
Last night St. Louis and the world lost an amazing singer, Fontella Bass. She suffered a heart attack on Dec. 2 and did not fully recover, according to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Bass died Wednesday night at a hospice in Chesterfield, the Winchester House.
Bass was best known for her debut 1965 hit, Rescue Me, which she sang and co-wrote. The song sold over a million copies and was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 R&B Chart for four weeks in 1965. Younger generations will remember the tune from its frequent appearances in TV commercials and movies like A Cinderella Story, Air America, Best, I, Robot, Jumpin' Jack Flash and Sister Act.
Fontella continued to sing throughout her life and was nominated for a Grammy in 1995 for "No Ways Tired" and in 1999 for "Speaking in Tongues."
Bass was inducted to the St. Louis Walk of Fame in 2000. Her star can be found on Delmar Boulvard, east of Kingsland Ave in University City.
Fontella was a St. Louis native and attended Soldan High School. After traveling around the country and touring Europe, she settled down in Florissant to raise her family.
Funeral services are pending.