"Queen of the Blues" Denise LaSalle dies at 78
(January 9, 2018) For nearly two years SoulTrackers were praying for the health of R&B great Denise LaSalle, who suffered from congestive heart failure and later had her leg amputated. Sadly, we report today that the “Queen of the Blues” has died at a hospital in Nashville. She was 78.
LaSalle, born Ora Denise Allen, was raised in Mississippi but became a star in the blues world after moving to Chicago and signing with the legendary Chess Records in the late 60s. Her success then blossomed – and Denise LaSalle became a household name – in 1971 when she wrote and performed the #1 smash, “Trapped By A Thing Called Love.”
LaSalle proved over that decade that she was not only a great singer, but also a top notch songwriter and producer. She continued to chart big for two decades with hits like “Man Sized Job,” “Now Run And Tell That” “My Toot Toot” and “Love Me Right.”
While her commercial success had peaked by 1990, LaSalle continued to record and perform regularly around the world, and continued to connect with blues and Southern soul audiences. She also became a restauranteur through her Blues Legend Café. She won countless awards and is a member of the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.
Denise LaSalle was a one of a kind performer, who also paved the way for future artists with her compelling writing and production work. She will be greatly missed.