R&B singer Fontella Bass, best known for her signature hit, the 1965 Top Four classic, “Rescue Me,” died on December 26th, according to The Chicago Sun-Times. Bass, who was 72, died in a hospital in her native St. Louis following eight years of declining health, and made her bones as part of the legendary Chess Records stable — which was the home to such legends as Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Bo Diddley, among numerous others. Funeral arrangements are still pending.
“Rescue Me” was Bass’ only Top 10 hit — and a chart topper on Billboard’s then-Top Selling Rhythm & Blues Singles chart. The track featured former Earth, Wind & Fire leader Maurice White on drums and the late-Minnie Ripperton — of “Lovin’ You” fame — on backing vocals.