The story is still developing and no cause of death has been determined.
Her recent tweet for Amy Winehouse can now unfortunately be applied to her life:
Vesta Williams (born Dec. 1, 1958, Coshocton, Ohio) was an American R&B singer. She was sometimes credited by her full name and sometimes simply as Vesta. She was known for her full four-octave voice range.
The daughter of a disc jockey, Williams began performing at an early age as a stand-up comic and singer in high school. Her family moved from Ohio to Los Angeles in the 1960s. Williams and her sisters once appeared on the television show “Jack and Jill” as The Williams Sisters. She returned to Ohio in 1977 and sang in her cousin’s band in Dayton, but soon returned to Los Angeles to launch a solo career.
Former Fifth Dimension member Ron Townsend, put Williams in his band Wild Honey. She eventually became a highly sought after studio singer doing stints with Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight and Stephanie Mills. Williams sang on the original version of Joe Sample’s “The Survivor,” and met producer David Crawford while working with his group Klique. She scored her first record deal in 1986 with A&M Records, which released her first self-titled album. The album featured her first Top 10 R&B hit “Once Bitten, Twice Shy.”
Her 1988 album, Vesta 4U, produced the quiet storm singles “Congratulations” and “Sweet Sweet Love.” The up-tempo dance track “4 U” also hit the R&B Top 10. In 1991, Williams released the album Special and the title track as a single. Both became her biggest charters. Her next album, Everything-N-More, was not as successful and she soon left A&M. She continued to be a popular session singer, landing regular spots on albums by such artists as Phil Perry, Howard Hewett and George Duke.
In 2007, she released an album of R&B classics on the Shanachie label titled Distant Lover. Produced by Chris “Big Dog” Davis, it features songs originally recorded by Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Sade and Deniece Williams.
The final edits were just completed for the singer’s TVOne “Unsung” episode. Listen to friend, Bowlegged Lou (Full Force), talk about Williams, his last conversation with her and the “Unsung” episode.
Check back for updates.
December 2010 interview: