Pop & Hiss

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Remembering R&B singer Vesta Williams

September 23, 2011 |  3:27 pm


R&B singer Vesta Williams might not have garnered the acclaim of contemporaries such as Teena Marie, Chaka Khan or Anita Baker, but the big voiced singer, who was found dead in a hotel room in El Segundo on Thursday, left an impression on soul music in the '80s.

Often praised as a singer's singer, Williams wasn't able to log a massive hit album in her discography, which stretches back to her eponymous debut in 1986, but she will be known for a string of successful singles, including "Special," "Congratulations," "Once Bitten Twice Shy" and "Do Ya." She was also tapped to provide backing vocals for Sting and Khan during her career.

Williams, 53, was found in a room at Homestead Studio in El Segundo, according to Los Angeles County coroner's officials.

Her last album was 2007's "Distant Lover," released on Shanachie Records. She was slated to perform at the 21st annual "DIVAS Simply Singing!" in October.

"Vesta created some timeless hits that the world knows but there were depths to her artistry that the world at large did not get to hear," Randall Grass, general manager of Shanachie, said in an email to Pop & Hiss. "Her peers in the industry knew what a special talent she was. Aside from music, Vesta had many other accomplishments and brought a touch of class to all she did."

Take a listen to some of her most celebrated singles after the jump:

"Once Bitten Twice Shy"






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-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

Photo: Vesta Williams. Credit: Vestawilliams.com