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Della Reese, who segued from pop and jazz singing stardom in the 1950s and ’60s to a long career as a popular TV actress on “Touched by an Angel” and other shows, died Sunday night at her home in California. She was 86.

“She was an incredible wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and pastor, as well as an award-winning actress and singer. Through her life and work she touched and inspired the lives of millions of people,” Reese’s family said in a statement. “She was a mother to me and I had the privilege of working with her side by side for so many years on ‘Touched by an Angel.’ I know heaven has a brand new angel this day. Della Reese will be forever in our hearts.”

Reared in gospel, Reese became a seductive, big-voiced secular music star with her No. 1 R&B and No. 2 pop hit “Don’t You Know” in 1959. The 45, her first single on RCA Records, was a ballad drawn from an aria from Puccini’s opera “La Boheme.”

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Image: Della Reese sings during the Detroit 300 festival

Della Reese sings during the Detroit 300 festival on July 20, 2001 in Detroit. Paul Warner / AP

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Click link below for article:

https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/pop-culture-news/della-reese-touched-angel-star-r-b-singer-dies-86-n822571

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