Home » Legendary Jazz Singer Marlena Shaw Dies at 81
News

Legendary Jazz Singer Marlena Shaw Dies at 81

Jazz and R&B singer Marlena Shaw has died, according to a video posted to Facebook by her daughter, Marla. She was 81.

The musical powerhouse is best known for her sparkling rendition of “California Soul,” and her jazz anthem “Woman of the Ghetto,” which served as a powerful response to rampant racist generalizations about urban life, and the widespread dehumanization of Black Americans in the 1960s. Both songs were featured on her album The Spice of Life (1969).

Shaw was born in New Rochelle, New York in 1942, and began her music career singing in jazz clubs in the 1960s. She was signed by Chess Records in 1966, and released several albums over the next four decades.

Marla said her mother “was at peace,” when she passed.

No cause of death was offered in the statement.

Newsletter

January 2024
M T W T F S S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031