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"Best of My Love" singer Pamela Hutchinson of The Emotions dies at 61

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The Emotions in 1977, Pamela Hutchinson center; Michael Putland/Getty Images

Pamela Hutchinson, whose voice can be heard in some of disco’s most popular songs, has died.  The former Emotions singer was 61.

“We are saddened to announce the passing of our sister, Pamela Rose Hutchinson, on Friday, September 18, 2020,” the group’s official Facebook announced on Sunday. “Pam succumbed to health challenges that she’d been battling for several years.”

The group added, “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!”

Hutchinson rose to fame as part of the Grammy Award-winning disco and R&B group The Emotions, who are behind the hits “Best of My Love” and “Boogie Wonderland,” the latter of which they collaborated with Earth, Wind & Fire.

“Best of My Love” earned The Emotions the 1978 Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus while “Boogie Wonderland” earned them a nod for Best Disco Recording in 1980.

VH1 proclaimed The Emotions one of the 18 most influential girl groups of all time for inspiring acts such as En VogueJadeErykah BaduFantasia and others.

Their music has also been sampled by artists like Tupac ShakurSalt n PepaJanet JacksonToni Braxton and many others.  Most famously, however, was when Mariah Carey sampled “Best of My Love” for her 1991 track “Emotions” — allegedly without permission — which resulted in a “hefty” settlement with Earth Wind & Fire creator Maurice White, as reported by SPIN magazine.

The Emotions consisted of Hutchinson and her three sisters, Wanda Hutchinson-Vaughn, Jeanette Hutchinson-Hawes and Sheila Hutchinson-Witt, getting their start as the gospel group the Hutchinson Sunbeams before transitioning to disco/R&B.

The family has requested for privacy.

By Megan Stone
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