From NYT: Loleatta Holloway, a gospel-charged disco singer whose 1980 hit “Love Sensation” had a long afterlife when fragments of it were used in later hits, died Monday in a suburban Chicago hospital. She was 64 and lived in Chicago.
She died after slipping into a coma after a brief illness, her manager, Ron Richardson, said in a statement.
Ms. Holloway was born in 1946 and grew up singing in gospel groups, including her mother’s Holloway Community Singers choir. From 1967 to 1971 she sang in one of gospel’s most respected groups, the Caravans, led by Albertina Walker. She then turned to secular music, bringing the raspy fervor and airborne whoops of her gospel performances to songs about desire.
Her rhythm-and-blues career began with the single “Rainbow ’71,” produced by her future husband, the guitarist Floyd Smith. Mr. Smith went on to produce her first two albums, “Loleatta” in 1973 and “Cry to Me” in 1975. He died in 1982; Ms. Holloway is survived by four children and nine grandchildren.
Her 1975 remake of the Solomon Burke hit “Cry to Me” reached No. 10 on the R&B chart. But Ms. Holloway’s label, Aware, closed down, and disco was on the rise in 1976 when she signed with the Philadelphia-based Gold Mind label, a subsidiary of Salsoul Records. She recorded with the producer and singer Bunny Sigler, and “Only You,” a duet with him, reached No. 11 on the R&B chart. In 1977 two of her dance tracks, “"Dreamin’ ” and “Hit and Run,” both reached No. 3 on the dance chart, where she would have most of her hits.
In the late 1970s Ms. Holloway began working with the singer Dan Hartman. She can be heard on his 1979 dance-club hit “Relight My Fire,” and he wrote and produced “Love Sensation” for her. Those sessions, Ms. Holloway recalled in a 2009 interview with discomusic.com, required 29 vocal takes over two days of recording. On the second day, she said, she lost her voice, but she put some Vicks VapoRub in her coffee to keep singing. “That’s how I was able to hold that note for so long,” she recalled.
“Love Sensation” reached No. 1 on the dance chart. Four years later her “Crash Goes Love” reached No. 5.
But “Love Sensation” proved durable. Samples of her vocal were used by the Italian dance-music group Black Box for “Ride on Time,” a No. 1 hit in Britain, at first without crediting Ms. Holloway; the video clip showed another woman lip-synching Ms. Holloway’s sampled vocals. She successfully sued Black Box, in a case settled out of court. Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, led by Mark Wahlberg, also drew on “Love Sensation” — this time giving Ms. Holloway prominent credit — for “Good Vibrations,” which became a No. 1 pop hit in the United States in 1991.
The song was also sampled on dance tracks by Cappella and Cevin Fisher, and Ms. Holloway remade it herself in 2006, as she continued to perform on the dance-club circuit.
“I never thought of myself as a good singer,” Ms. Holloway said in 2009. “When I was 5 years old I started singing in church and I hated my voice because I sounded like a grown woman, not a child. I was ashamed of it.”