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JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) — Singer and songwriter Denise LaSalle, whose hit “Trapped by a Thing Called Love” topped the R&B charts in 1971, has died. She was 78.

Musician and producer Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, owner of Royal Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, and a close family friend of LaSalle’s, said Tuesday that the singer died in Jackson, Tennessee. Another family friend, Howard Rambsy, said she died Monday night at a hospital, surrounded by family.

Media outlets report LaSalle suffered from health issues in recent months that resulted in the amputation of her right leg after she suffered a fall.

Along with “Trapped by a Thing Called Love,” she is also well known for the song “Now Run and Tell That.” She had a string of successful singles in the 1970s and the early 1980s.

“She had a very unique voice,” said Mitchell, whose father, Willie Mitchell, recorded LaSalle at Hi Records.

LaSalle, a Mississippi native, founded the National Association for the Preservation of the Blues to bring more attention to the “soul/blues” style in 1986.

She was a 2011 inductee in the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis. Her citation for that year notes her “bold and bawdy stage act.”

She was born Ora Denise Allen on a plantation in Sidon, Mississippi, plantation, and lived for a time in Belzoni as a child, the citation says. She took LaSalle as her stage name after she moved to Chicago in her teens and started singing R&B.

LaSalle later sang blues as a recording artist for Mississippi-based Malaco records.




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6 thoughts on “R&B Singer Denise LaSalle Has Died At 78

  1. Hope Frazier on said:

    I would like to say thanks for all your beautiful music you will be missed thank you again for music I Still Play for my children and grandchildren may God continue to bless your family my condolence to the family

  2. “LaSalle, a Mississippi native, founded the National Association for the Preservation of the Blues to bring more attention to the “soul/blues” style in 1986.”
    Denise will be missed but her legacy must keep on.
    Keep it real y’all. White America didn’t steal the blues from us.WE GAVE IT AWAY.
    Maybe Rihanna might try to remake “Trapped By A Thing called Love” in the classic arrangement.Queen Latifah went as far back as Bessie Smith (well before my time) to show the world that she can actually SING.
    It seems to me that a great African-American art and popular music tradition has been all but lost by the hip-hop generations-now into a second.

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