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Music World Says Goodbye To Nicolette Larson

December 18, 1997 12:00 AM ET

Recording artist Nicolette Larson, best known for her 1970s cover of Neil Young's "Lotta Love," died Tuesday in Los Angeles. She was 45.

Larson died of complications from cerebral edema -- a swelling of the brain -- at the UCLA Medical Center, according to her husband, drummer Russell Kunkel. The couple has a seven-year-old daughter, Elsie May Larson Kunkel.

"We were truly devastated when we heard the news...it is a very sad day for music," said Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills and Nash.

In her 20-plus years in the music industry, Larson released six critically acclaimed albums. The Helena, Mont., native started her career singing backup for renowned artists such as Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Neil Young, Christopher Cross and the Doobie Brothers. Her breakthrough came in 1978 when she recorded "Lotta Love," a song she discovered on a tape lying on the floor of Young's car. "I popped it in the tape player and commented on what a great song it was," Larson said. "Neil said, 'You want it? It's yours.'''

Private funeral services will be held this Saturday, with a memorial service scheduled for January.

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