Pamela Hutchinson, a member of the influential R&B group the Emotions, has died at 61. According to a statement on the Emotions’ Facebook page, she passed away on Friday. “Pam succumbed to health challenges that she’d been battling for several years,” the statement reads. “Now our beautiful sister will sing amongst the angels in heaven in perfect peace.”
The Emotions got their start as a gospel band of three sisters — Shelia, Wanda, and Jeanette — known as the Hutchinson Sunbeams. With the name change came a series of soul hits in the ’60s and early ’70s, including “So I Can Love You.” Pamela was not an original member of the band, but joined her sisters in the Emotions during the mid-’70s, right around the time they struck up a creative partnership with Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White and signed to Columbia for their 1976 album Flowers, which included the chart-topper “Best Of My Love,” which won a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance.
More collaborations with Earth, Wind, & Fire would follow, including on the hit “Boogie Wonderland.” They went on to put out more albums of their own until the mid-’80s and popped up on other artist’s albums after that, collaborating with the likes of Smokey Robinson, Nancy Wilson, LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, and Terrace Martin over the years. They also teamed up with Earth, Wind & Fire once again in 2003 for “All In The Way.”
“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,” the Emotions wrote in their statement. “A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered. We love you, Pamela!”