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."