California Soul legend Marlena Shaw dies aged 84
Posted by  badge Boss on Jan 21
Marlena Shaw has died ‘peacefully’ surrounded by family(Picture: Wayne Fox/REX/Shutterstock)

Marlena Shaw’s family have confirmed the American jazz icon has died ‘peacefully’ aged 84.

Best known for her track California Soul, Shaw skyrocketed to fame with the track in 1966 and continued to be a staple of the hip-hop scene throughout her life.

Her daughter, Marla Shaw, confirmed her death on her official Facebook page last night, January 19.

She wrote: ‘Hello everyone, it is 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 at 12:03.

‘She was peaceful. We were at peace.’

A cause of death has not been made public but in the short video, Marla added that her mother is at peace and said: ‘Our family again is at peace. She went very peacefully.’

She was best known for her hit California Soul (Picture: Wayne Fox/REX/Shutterstock)
Her daughter announced the death on Facebook (Picture: Wayne Fox/REX/Shutterstock)

Shaw, born on September 22, 1939, according to her daughter in New Rochelle, New York, died while listening to some of her favourite tracks after a hard three years.

Her signature song California Soul was initially recorded as a track on her 1969 LP The Spice of Life and later became a highly sought-after record.

The song became commonly sampled by hip-hop artists and was used by Gang Starr on their 1990 single Check the Technique, plus being interpolated by artists including DJ Shadow, Diplo and Nightmares on Wax.

She got her break after being signed by Chicago blues and R&B label Chess Records in 1966, with the booming success of California Soul.

She then recorded a series of albums over the next four decades, including 1977’s Sweet Beginnings on Columbia Records, the highest charting record of her career.

Tributes poured in for the late star on the Facebook announcement as Chris Slepsky said: ‘Oh I’m so very sorry for your loss! May she rest In Peace.’

‘Oh, MarLa! So very sorry to hear of this! Much ❤️ and hugs to you and your wonderful family! You blessed and graced the fans admiration on the career of Marlena Shaw!’ added David Levesque.

Jagger Baltich shared: ‘I am so sorry to hear about this! Your mom was extremely talented and she will never be forgotten! Please be strong. We are all here for you.’