Ruth Brown- Dies at Age 78

The 50’s R&B star, Ruth Brown died Friday at a Las Vegas-area hospital due to complications from a stroke and heart attack. Dominating the rhythm-and-blues charts in the 1950s, “Miss Rhythm” will be remembered for her soulful voice and historic music career.

A pioneer of the genre, Ruth Brown built the foundation of the fledgling Atlantic Records, making it the R&B powerhouse that it is today.

“Miss Rhythm” sang with power and personality that steamed from the soul of her generation. Honored recipient of a Tony, Grammy, and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Brown will also be remembered for her role as the feisty deejay Motormouth Maybelle in the 1988 cult movie “Hairspray.”

“Ruth was one of the most important and beloved figures in modern music,” singer Bonnie Raitt said in an official statement released by the Associated Press. “You can hear her influence in everyone from Little Richard to Etta (James), Aretha (Franklin), Janis (Joplin) and divas like Christina Aguilera today.”

Watch the R&B advocate and legend sing her 50’s chart topper (“Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean,” a rare clip from the height of Brown’s stardom.
For more on Brown career, read the AP release.

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