‘California Soul’ Jazz Icon Dead At 81


Julianna Frieman Contributor
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Iconic jazz singer Marlena Shaw died Friday at age 81.

Shaw’s death was announced by her daughter in a video posted on Facebook, CBS News reported.

“It’s with a very heavy heart for myself and my family I announce that our beloved mother, your beloved icon and artist Marlena Shaw has passed away,” Marla Bradshaw, Shaw’s daughter, said. “She went listening to some of her favorite songs.”

Bradshaw assured that her mother’s death “was peaceful” and that the famous singer’s relatives were “at peace,” the outlet reported.

“Rest in Heaven,” Bradshaw wrote with a heart emoji.

Shaw was known for songs including “California Soul” and “Women of the Ghetto,” according to the outlet. She worked for the Chess Record label until switching to another label more oriented with the jazz genre. (RELATED: Legendary Jazz Artist Les McCan Died At 88)

Verve Records released a statement on Shaw’s death, the outlet reported.

“We are saddened by the passing of Marlena Shaw, a wonderful singer whose ‘California Soul’ is as popular today as it ever was and whose album ‘It Is Love: Recorded Live At Vine St.’ helped relaunch the Verve label in 1987,” Verve Records said.

Shaw’s songs tackled topics such as racial division with an emphasis on empowering black women, according to the outlet. The jazz singer’s music was sampled in generations of popular media, television commercials and other songs. The musician released 17 albums with eight different record labels throughout the duration of her highly influential career, according to the outlet.

“Miss Shaw is in heaven,” Bradshaw said of her mother.