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Pamela Hutchinson who sang ‘Best of My Love’ with The Emotions dies at 61 after ‘health challenges’

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The Emotions singer Pamela Hutchinson has died at 61 after years battling ‘health challenges’, the group shared on Facebook. 

Hutchinson – who sang ‘Best of My Love’ in the R&B outfit with her sisters – died Friday, they announced Sunday. 

‘In loving memory, we are saddened to announce the passing of our sister, Pamela Rose Hutchinson, on Friday, September 18, 2020,’ a statement on the page read. 

‘Pam succumbed to health challenges that she’d been battling for several years. Now our beautiful sister will sing amongst the angels in heaven in perfect peace.’

The latest: The Emotions Pamela Hutchinson (L) has died. She posed with sisters Wanda Hutchinson (center) and Sheila Hutchinson in 1977 in LA

The latest: The Emotions Pamela Hutchinson (L) has died. She posed with sisters Wanda Hutchinson (center) and Sheila Hutchinson in 1977 in LA 

BBC News correspondent Brenda Emmanus (left), and Heather Melville OBE (center) and Pamela Hutchinson attend the WOW Foundation x Bloomberg reception at Southbank Centre on March 5, 2020 in London, England

BBC News correspondent Brenda Emmanus (left), and Heather Melville OBE (center) and Pamela Hutchinson attend the WOW Foundation x Bloomberg reception at Southbank Centre on March 5, 2020 in London, England

The statement continued: ‘During this time, the family kindly asks for fans and friends to respect our privacy. We appreciate all kind words, photos, and videos you may want to post for our beloved Pamela and of course your loving prayers.

‘A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered. We love you, Pamela!’

The Chicago-born group wrapped up in saying, ‘Thank you and as always, You Got The Best of Our Love.’

The  Emotions’ biggest hit came with the 1977 song ‘Best of My Love,’ which won the Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus. 

The upbeat song has been featured in a number of high profile films, including 1997’s Boogie Nights, 1999’s Summer of Sam, 2006’s Mission Impossible III and 2006’s The Holiday.

They also had success with singles including 1976’s ‘I Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love’ and 1979’s ‘Boogie Wonderland’ with Earth, Wind & Fire. 

The group's biggest hit came with the 1977 song Best of My Love, which won the Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus

The group’s biggest hit came with the 1977 song Best of My Love, which won the Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus 

Maurice White from Earth, Wind & Fire co-wrote their Billboard no.1 ‘Best of My Love,’ produced two albums and served as a mentor to the group. 

The hit came after the Stax record label, where they were signed alongside Isaac Hayes and David Porter, folded.

The sisters performed as the Hutchinson Sunbeams when they were younger, traveling with their father to perform gospel music, including on Jerry Van Dyke’s Children’s gospel TV show.

The musical outfit initially formed in the 1960s with the Hutchinson sisters, Sheila, Wanda and Jeanette, but Pamela replaced the latter in the mid-1970s when her older sibling took a year off to have a baby. 

Pamela was five to seven years younger than her sisters. The group took a hiatus in 1980 and returned in 1990 to tour as a four-piece. Pamela only became a permanent member of the group in the year 2000. 

Pamela Hutchinson, Shelia Hutchinson and Wanda Hutchinson of The Emotions perform during the Ribs 'N' Soul Festival at Hart Plaza on August 1, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan

Pamela Hutchinson, Shelia Hutchinson and Wanda Hutchinson of The Emotions perform during the Ribs ‘N’ Soul Festival at Hart Plaza on August 1, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan

In concert: Pamela and the Emotions took to the stage for a music festival

In concert: Pamela and the Emotions took to the stage for a music festival

In all, the group recorded nine albums, with one going platinum and two going gold.

Additionally, Mariah Carey (Dreamlover), Toni Braxton and Janet Jackson have all sampled the group’s song ‘Blind Alley.’

LL Cool J, Biggie Smalls, Big Daddy Kane, Ice Cube, A Tribe Called Quest and Ghostface Killah have also borrowed from the group’s hits.

In 2016 they featured on Terrace Martin’s Velvet Portraits album track ‘Patiently Waiting.’ 

Pamela was pictured at an event for the WOW Foundation, which supports gender equality, in London earlier this year.

Sister Act and Moesha actress Sheryl Lee Ralph remember Pamela in a Twitter tribute, saying: ‘RIP DIVA.’

Sinbad the comedian tweeted: ‘That band in heaven is gonna be a hard act to follow if God keeps calling his top people home. 

‘My heart goes out to the family. May God bless and keep you during this time.’ 

Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph and Sinbad the comedian remembered Pamela in Twitter tributes

Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph and Sinbad the comedian remembered Pamela in Twitter tributes

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