Jazz and gospel singer Judy Spellman died yesterday after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. Spellman, a New Orleans native, was the daughter of gospel pianist Ammerette Rieux and famed R&B singer Benny Spellman, who recorded the Allen Toussaint-penned ’60s hits “Lipstick Traces (On a Cigarette) and “Fortune Teller” (he contributed his deep baritone to Ernie K-Doe’s “Mother-in-Law” as well).
In recent years, Spellman toured internationally with the German band Phavior Adelic. The group released its debut album, Eclectic Funk, earlier this year. Spellman also regularly returned to New Orleans, where she was a frequent performer at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Essence Festival.
UPDATE: A funeral service for Spellman will be held at 10am on Saturday, July 30 at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church (2515 Franklin Avenue) in New Orleans, LA.