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Fontella Bass, most famous for the 1965 hit Rescue Me, died on Wednesday in St. Louis, Missouri.
The R&B singer suffered from a series of strokes over the last seven years of life, but died at age 72 due to complications from a heart attack.
"She was an outgoing person. She had a very big personality. Any room she entered she just lit the room up, whether she was on stage or just going out to eat."
Besides Rescue Me, Fontella's chart-toppers included Don't Mess Up a Good Thing and Deliver Me. In 1995 she earned a Grammy nomination for her gospel album No Ways Tired.
She will be sorely missed.