Rescue Me singer Fontella Bass dies

Fontella Bass was best known for her hit song Resuce Me

The US soul singer Fontella Bass, famous for the 1965 song Rescue Me, has died aged 72, Associated Press is reporting.

It says she died last night in a St Louis hospice from complications from a heart attack suffered three weeks ago, her daughter, Neuka Mitchell said.

Bass began performing at a young age, singing in her church's choir at the age of six. Her interest turned to R&B when she was a teenager. She eventually auditioned for Chess Records and landed a recording contract.

In 1965 she co-wrote and later that year recorded "Rescue Me", reaching No 1 in the R&B charts and No 4 in the Billboard pop singles chart. Her powerful voice bore a striking resemblance to that of Aretha Franklin, who is often misidentified as the singer of that chart-topping hit.

"Rescue Me" has been covered by many top stars including Cher, Diana Ross and Tom Jones.

It was also used in films such as Whoopi Goldberg's "Sister Act."