Denise LaSalle

Denise LaSalle had a career which spanned more than five decades during which she became a recording star with a prolific output of material. With a legacy of more than 35 albums and 50 singles, many of which became hits, she was one of America's most popular and enduring soul and R&B artists. Born into a family of sharecroppers with seven other siblings LaSalle had a tough upbringing picking cotton and carrying out other difficult jobs to help support her family. Like many soul singers of that era she developed her singing voice in the local church choirs and gospel groups. After moving north to Chicago she began to build a reputation as a songwriter before being signed to Chess who released her debut single 'A Love Reputation' in 1967. Although the single was only a modest success LaSalle went on to form her own independent production company and throughout the 1970s and '80s she recorded a succession of critically acclaimed albums and hit singles which established her as a top R&B performer. Her later life was complicated by heart problems and after suffering a fall in 2017 complications set in and LaSalle had to have her right leg amputated. The singer never fully recovered from the surgery and died a few months later in January 2018. She was 78 years old.

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