Soul and gospel great Naomi Shelton passed away last week (2/17) at age 78. The sad news came via her label Daptone, who wrote, "Last week we lost a very, very dear friend, the incredible Naomi Shelton. Her spirit was the brightest and most positive in our family, and she was genuinely full of love. She called us all for our birthdays every single year, asked about our kids and significant others, always had a story to tell, reminding us of all the shenanigans that went down over the years, and was, hands down, the coolest person in the room. We loved her dearly."
Born October 14, 1942 in Midway, Alabama, Naomi got her start in the late-'50s and over the years, Naomi sang funk, soul, country, blues, R&B and anything else she set her mind to. In NYC she fronted The Gospel Queens from Brooklyn, who later became known as Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens. Despite 40+ years in music, Naomi didn't put out an album till the 2000s, though, with Daptone releasing 2009's What Have You Done, My Brother? and 2014's Cold World, both with The Gospel Queens.