R&B diva Ruth Brown has died at the age of 78. The singer was most famous for her 1950s hits “Teardrops in My Eyes,” “5-10-15 Hours” and “(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean.”
Brown died of complications from a stroke and heart attack at a Las Vegas-area hospital. The announcement was made by Lindajo Loftus, a publicist forthe Rhythm & Blues Foundation that Brown helped establish.
In the 1970s, Brown made her Broadway debut and won a best actress Tony award for her role in the musical “Black and Blue.” An album, “Blues on Broadway,” featuring hits from the revue earned her a Grammy award.
Brown helped create the Rhythm & Blues Foundation to provide financial and medical assistance to artists and to preserve the genre of music.
“Ruth was one of the most important and beloved figures in modern music,” singer Bonnie Raitt said in a statement. “You can hear her influence in everyone from Little Richard to Etta (James), Aretha (Franklin), Janis (Joplin) and divas like Christina Aguilera today.”
“She was my dear friend, and I will miss her terribly,” Raitt added.