*If you’re from the old, old school, you’re probably familiar with soul/blues singer Denise LaSalle. Unfortunately we must inform you that LaSalle died earlier this week. She was 78.
According to Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, owner of Royal Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, and a close family friend of LaSalle’s, the “Trapped by a Thing Called Love” singer died in Jackson, Tennessee.
Another family friend said she died Monday night at a hospital, surrounded by family.
It was also reported that 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,” LaSalle is also 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.
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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.
In other news regarding Denise LaSalle, a memorial service for the singer will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. today, Thursday (01-11-18), at Christ Missionary Baptist Church located at 480-494 S. Parkway E. in Memphis.
Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday in the auditorium of Liberty Technology Magnet High School located at 3470 Ridgecrest Road in Jackson.
A home-going service will follow visitation at 11 a.m., also in the Liberty Tech auditorium.
The family asks that all flowers be sent to Wolfe Brothers Funeral Home, 128 S. 7th Street, West Memphis, AR 72301.