Soul singer Loleatta Holloway has died aged 64 from heart failure.
Chicago-born Holloway began her career singing gospel music with her mother in the Holloway Community Singers. After a few minor single releases and appearances in stage shows, the singer signed with the Atlanta-based Aware record label where she released two albums: 1973’s Loleatta and Cry to Me in 1975.
When Aware went out of business in 1976, Holloway was signed by producer Norman Harris for his Gold Mind label, which was an offshoot of the mighty New York Salsoul imprint. The move made Loleatta one of the pre-eminent disco divas of all time, with a string of club hits such as Dreaming, Hit ‘n’ Run, Love Sensation, Runaway and Seconds which resonated into the following decade and beyond through sampling in house, r&b and hip hop music. Holloway’s influence reached the pop charts in the 1990s with Black Box’s number one hit Ride On Time which sampled her Love Sensation vocals and Take That’s hit revival of Dan Hartman’s Relight My Fire, which featured the diva’s vocals.
Loleatta Holloway continues to influence other music creators – Whitney Houston’s recent global smash, Million Dollar Bill relies heavily on a sample from Holloway’s We’re Getting Stronger. The singer may have passed away but that immortal voice seems certain to carry on creating hit records.
Loleatta Holloway 5 November 1946 – 21 March 2011.