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R.I.P. Legendary Singer &‘Touched By An Angel’ Star Della Reese, Dead At 86

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In very sad news, gospel legend and “Touched By An Angel” star Della Reese has passed away. She was 86. More inside…

We just lost another YBF legend right before the holidays.

In very sad news, legendary singer and “Touched By An Angel” star Della Reese passed away Sunday evening (November 19th), according to Della’s “Touched By An Angel” co-star Roma Downey. She was 86.

The singer/actress leaves behind her husband, Franklin Lett, as well as three children James, Franklin and Dominique. She was preceded in death by her daughter Deloreese.

“On behalf of her husband, Franklin Lett, and all her friends and family, I share with you the news that our beloved Della Reese has passed away peacefully at her California home last evening surrounded by love. She was an incredible wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and pastor, as well as an award-winning actress and singer. Through her life and work she touched and inspired the lives of millions of people,” her costar Roma Downey told PEOPLE in a statement.

“She was a mother to me and I had the privilege of working with her side by side for so many years on Touched By an Angel. I know heaven has a brand new angel this day. Della Reese will be forever in our hearts. Rest in peace, sweet angel. We love you.”

Many grew to love Della as Tess from the hit series “Touched By An Angel.” But, she was also a songstress back in the day.

She was born Delloresse Patricia Early on July 6, 1931 in Detriot’s Black Bottom neighborhood. She started singing in church as a child before she was tapped to perform with Mahalia Jackson’s gospel group at the age of 13.

Later, she formed her own singing group, the Meditation Singers, in the late 1940s. By 1953, she had inked a record deal with Jubille Records and released six albums. She was said to be inspired by jazz artists like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan.

Della had several songs that made climbed the charts, including “And That Reminds Me,” “Don’t You Know?,” including “Not One Minute More, “And Now,” and “Someday (You’ll Want Me to Want You).” She also served up a stellar performance in the 1989 classic film, Harlem Nights.

We send our prayers and condolences to her family, friends and fans.

 

Photo: Getty


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