Legendary soul singer Mable John, the first solo female artist signed by Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, has died aged 91.
The , who died at her home in Los Angeles on Thursday, was just a couple of months shy of her 92nd birthday.
The cause of death has not yet been revealed.
Her nephew Kevin John told The Detroit News: ‘We loved her and she was a kind person.’
In addition to being the first solo female artist signed to Motown, the late star, who was the older sister of 1960s R&B singer Little Willie John, was a member of The Raelettes – ’ backing band.
John, who was born in 1930 in Bastrop, Louisiana the first of nine children, was discovered as a teenager by then-upcoming music producer Berry Gordy.
Berry later founded Motown and discovered the likes of and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.
He made John the first solo female act to sign with his Tamla Records in 1958, which, became known as Motown two years later.
‘He became my vocal coach, my manager and, within a couple of years, my record producer,’ she recalled to author Susan Whithall, according to Motown Classic’s website.
She left the label in the mid 1960s to join Stax Records in Memphis, where she recorded 1966 hit Your Good Thing (Is About to End), which reached number six on the US Charts.
She later became the musical director and a singer in the late Ray Charles’ Raelettes backing band, where she stayed for over 10 years.
She eventually quit music to become a church minister and was featured in the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom.
The song-writer was the hit-maker behind classics such as Baby Love and Two Hearts.
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