The American music world is mourning the loss of an pioneer. Rosalie Hamlin, lead singer of Rosie and the Originals and writer of the iconic '60s single "Angel Baby," has passed away at the age of 71.
Hamlin is best known for her contribution to rock 'n' roll with her single hit, "Angel Baby," but she was also a trailblazing Latina musician. According to Fox News, Hamlin is featured in an exhibit on one-hit-wonders in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. She is the first Latina artist to be featured on that list, and was also the first Latina to appear on Dick Clark's prime-time variety show, "American Bandstand."
In a message posted to the official website for Rosie and the Originals, Rosalie's daughter Debbie Cray wrote that Hamlin had passed away in her sleep on March 30. According to Billboard, her cause of death is unknown, though the singer was known to have been living for several years with fibromyalgia.
"Very saddened to say that my mom Rosalie Hamlin passed away today March 30, 2017," Cray wrote in the posted statement. "She was 71 and passed in her sleep. She didn't perform anymore, and had removed herself from the music scene because of health concerns. She did still paint and tended a very lovely garden. She will be greatly missed by so many. Thank you for all your wishes and time and kind words. It meant a lot to her. God bless."
According to Fox News, Cray spoke in an interview with the Associated Press about her mother's love of nature and warm, playful sense of humor. Hamlin reportedly kept chickens, spent her time fishing and camping, and was known to play pranks on her children and grandchildren.
"I think she really enjoyed just being Rosie the mom and grandma. I think after a while like that was just a separate life," Cray said.
"Angel Baby" was released in 1960 and debuted at number 40 on the Hot 100 chart. In it's 13-week run on the charts, the song peaked at number five. Hamlin reportedly penned the track about a teenage love.
The song catapulted Rosie and the Originals to stardom and soon they were opening for bands like The Rolling Stones. But while the band enjoyed only a brief heyday, the one-hit-wonder would go on to affect other musicians like John Lennon.
Though she might have faded from the public sphere, her impact on music will live on.
Hamlin is survived by her children Debbie, John and Joe, as well as her four grandchildren.