Soul Singer Fontella Bass Dead at 72

'Rescue Me' singer suffered a heart attack

Fontella Bass
Michael Putland/Getty Images
Soul singer Fontella Bass in concert, November 18th, 1972
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St. Louis-based R&B singer Fontella Bass – best known for her 1965 hit "Rescue Me" – died Wednesday after a heart attack, KSDK reports. She was 72.

Born in St. Louis in June 1940, Bass first reached ears earlier in 1965 with the successful single "Don't Mess With A Good Thing," with Bobby McClure. "Rescue Me" topped the R&B charts for a month and held steady in the top five of the pop charts as well.

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Bass' first record, The New Look, was released in 1966 by Chess Records. While she never found another hit like "Rescue Me," she continued to record throughout the Seventies. In 2001, she teamed up with the Voices of St. Louis for her last record, Travellin'.

In 1993, Bass won a settlement against American Express and its advertising agency for using "Rescue Me" in an ad without proper permission.