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Jazz Singer Marlena Shaw, Best Known for 'California Soul,' Dead at 84

Shaw's daughter, Marla Bradshaw, announced the news on Friday

<p>Michael Putland/Getty</p> Marlena Shaw in New York in 1977

Michael Putland/Getty

Marlena Shaw in New York in 1977

Marlena Shaw, best known for her 1969 hit “California Soul,” died on Friday Jan. 19.

Shaw’s daughter, Marla Bradshaw, announced the news in a video posted to the singer’s Facebook page on Friday night.

“It's 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 today,” Bradshaw said in the video.

The jazz singer “went very peacefully,” her daughter said, and the family was also “at peace” as she died.

“She went listening to some of her favorite songs,” her daughter shared.

Bradshaw said that she was not going to share “too many details” about her mother’s death, the cause for which was not specified, adding, “When it’s needing to be known, it will be.”

According to her daughter, the singer was 84 at the time of her death.

<p>Jordi Vidal/Redferns</p> Marlena Shaw performs on stage at Sala Apolo in January 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.

Jordi Vidal/Redferns

Marlena Shaw performs on stage at Sala Apolo in January 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.

Throughout her long career, Shaw was signed to several record labels. She started out with Cadet Records, where she released two studio albums, including 1969’s The Spice of Life, which featured her version of Ashford & Simpson’s “California Soul," the song that she became best known for.

In 1972, she signed with Universal Music Group’s Blue Note, making history as their first female vocalist.

She released five albums and several singles while with Blue Note, according to their biography of her, and she “dazzled audiences with her intoxicating blend of straight-ahead jazz, soul, pop, and classic R&B.”

<p>Jordi Vidal/Redferns</p> Marlena Shaw performs on stage at Sala Apolo in January 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.

Jordi Vidal/Redferns

Marlena Shaw performs on stage at Sala Apolo in January 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.

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Shaw also worked with Verve Records, the same label Ella Fitzgerald was signed to, and the label released a statement on Friday in response to the news of her death.

“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,” the statement said. 

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