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.