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Vesta

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Biography

Vesta possessed one of the biggest and brassiest voices in R&B. Born Mary Vesta Williams, her family moved from Ohio to Los Angeles in the '60s, as her father was a disc jockey. Vesta 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 went back to Los Angeles to launch a solo career. Former Fifth Dimension member Ron Townsend put her in his band Wild Honey, and she also did sessions and/or toured with Bobby Womack, Chaka Khan, Commodores, Jermaine Jackson, Ray Parker, Jr., Anita Baker, Stephanie Mills, and several others. Vesta sang on the original version of Joe Sample's "The Survivor," and met producer David Crawford while working with his group Klique. Crawford took her tapes to A&M, which signed her to a solo contract. She scored a Top Ten R&B hit with "Once Bitten Twice Shy" in 1986. She remained with A&M through 1993 and reached the Top Ten four additional times with "Sweet, Sweet Love," "4 U," "Congratulations," and "Special." She subsequently recorded sporadically as an independent artist, hosted a morning radio show in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, and continued to perform. She died of an enlarged heart on September 22, 2011. ~ Ron Wynn & Andy Kellman
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