Rest In Peace, Legendary Jazz/R&B Singer Has Passed Away

Renowned jazz and soul singer Marlena Shaw, celebrated for her iconic rendition of “California Soul,” has peacefully passed away at the age of 81, as confirmed by her family.

Marlena’s daughter, Marla, shared the somber news in a Facebook video, expressing, “It is with a very heavy heart that for myself and my family, I announce that our beloved mother, your beloved icon and artist, Marlena Shaw, has passed away January 20, 2024, at 12:03.”

Describing the moment, Marla conveyed that her mother passed away peacefully at home while listening to some of her favorite songs. “She was peaceful. We were at peace. Our family again is at peace. She went very peacefully,” she added.

Born in New Rochelle, New York, Marlena Shaw embarked on her singing journey in the 1960s, gracing jazz clubs with her soulful voice. Her breakthrough came in 1966 when she secured a performance at the Playboy Club in Chicago, catching the attention of representatives from the Chess Records music label, leading to a signing with the label.

Under Chess Records, Marlena released her first two albums, with the 1969 hit “California Soul” becoming one of her most recognized songs. The track, known for its timeless appeal, has garnered over 100 million streams on Spotify, attesting to its enduring popularity.

Throughout the 1970s, Marlena continued to enchant audiences and contributed the theme song “Don’t Ask to Stay Until Tomorrow” for the 1977 film “Looking for Mr. Goodbar.”

Her illustrious career extended into the 2000s, culminating in her final album, “Lookin’ for Love,” released in 2004.

Following the news of Marlena Shaw’s passing, an outpouring of tributes flooded social media, with fans expressing their gratitude for the legendary artist’s contributions to jazz and soul. Messages such as “RIP Marlena Shaw and thank you for the music” and “One of the truly great vocalists” highlighted the impact she had on discerning ears.

To hear more about her death, check out the video below.

Which Marlena Shaw song holds a special place in your heart, and how has her music touched your life?