Harlem Nights Star, Della Reese Passes At 86

November 20, 2017

Harlem fave Della Reese, the iconic jazz, gospel and pop singer who later moved into television and film, and starred in Harlem Nights, has died. She was 86.

Reese began singing for audiences when was just six years old at her local church, with her roots clearly in gospel music. At 13, she was hired to perform with Mahalia Jackson’s gospel group, with whom she later toured.

She formed her own group, the Meditation Singers in the late 1940s, and was strongly influenced by jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. She signed a deal with Jubilee Records in 1953, releasing six jazz-focused albums. Her breakout hit came in 1959, with her hit single “Don’t You Know?”.

She turned to television and film starting in the late 1960s, hosting her own talk show Della, and later starring opposite Redd Foxx in Harlem Nights (1989), Martin Lawrence in A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (1996) and Elliott Gould in Expecting Mary (2010).

Reese’s most recent television appearance was earlier this year on Bates Motel.

We're your source for local coverage, we count on your support. SPONSOR US!
Your support is crucial in maintaining a healthy democracy and quality journalism. With your contribution, we can continue to provide engaging news and free access to all.
accepted credit cards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Articles