Remembrance of the Queen Denise LaSalle
Blues, R&B/Soul Singer and Producer
Born Ora Denise Allen, known by the stage name Denise LaSalle, was an international blues and R&B/soul singer, songwriter, and record producer who, since the death of Koko Taylor, had been recognized as the "Queen of the Blues".
To know the woman, is a way to understand her lyrics, and feel what she is expressing through her songs. Born near Sidon, Mississippi as the youngest of eight children to Nathaniel A. Allen, Sr., and Nancy Cooper. Her family worked as sharecroppers and she had to pick cotton and took up other labor jobs to support her family.
In the early 1980s, she signed as a singer and songwriter with Malaco Records, for whom she released a string of critically acclaimed albums over more than 20 years, starting with Lady in the Street (1983) and Right Place, Right Time (1984). Both albums became successful among soul blues, R&B and soul fans and on urban radio stations. In 1985, she enjoyed her only recognition in the UK Singles Chart, when her cover version of Rockin' Sidney's "My Toot Toot" reached #6.
Ms. LaSalle was well known for her way of telling real to life stories about cheating and love, just to mention a few of her unapologizing sassy lyrics. Evolving through fifty years in the business she earned and achieved the title of Queen. In 2013 and 2014, LaSalle was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the 'Soul Blues Female Artist' category and inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2015.
After suffering from heart problems, and complications from a fall resulting in her right leg being amputated in October 2017, LaSalle died on January 8, 2018 surrounded by her family, at the age of 78.