DELLA REESE died on Nov. 19 in Los Angeles, she was 86. Born Delloreese Patricia Early, she began singing in her hometown of Detroit when she was six years old. As a teenager, she toured with gospel great Mahalia Jackson and, at the age of 18, formed the Meditation Singers and became the first performer to take gospel music to the casinos of Las Vegas.
She was nominated for a Grammy Award as Best Female Soloist in gospel music in 1987. Her career spanned seven decades. In 1957, she earned national fame with her song, “And That Reminds Me,” followed by her signature hit, “Don’t You Know?” She hosted her own talk show, was an ordained minister, and appeared in several films and TV series, including Touched By An Angel (1994-2003) in which she played the leading role of Tess.