Born into a family of soulful singers, the vocal prowess of the late Fontella Bass came with little surprise. The St. Louis-born singer, who died on Wednesday (Dec. 26) at 72, stole the hearts of music fans with her impassioned vocals.
Bass’ 36-year career brought along success on the Billboard charts: her songs “Rescue Me,” “Don’t Mess Up a Good Thing” and “Recovery” debuted in the top 40 of the Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. But it was “Rescue Me,” a hit upon its 1965 release, that will remain her most enduring musical legacy. The song became Bass’ biggest hit, reaching No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart (named Top Selling Rhythm & Blues Singles when it went to No. 1) and No. 4 on the Hot 100 chart.