Soul singer Dee Dee Warwick, the older sister of R&B veteran Dionne Warwick, died Saturday at a nursing home in South Orange, NJ, reports the Associated Press. She was 63.
Family spokesman Kevin Sasaki said she had been in failing health in recent months, and her sister was by her side when she died.
Warwick was best known for her string of hits in the 1960s and 70s, including “Foolish Fool,” “She Didn’t Know (She Kept on Talking)” and a version of “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” that was later covered by Diana Ross and The Supremes.
Warwick was twice nominated for a Grammy Award and sang backup for Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and others before launching a solo career. She was the niece of gospel singer Cissy Houston and a cousin of Whitney Houston.
The Newark-born talent was a teen when she began singing with her older sister in the late 1950s. The two performed as The Gospelaires and also collaborated and sang with the Drinkard Singers, a long-running gospel group that also featured some of the Warwicks’ aunts and uncles and was managed by their mother.
Most recently, Warwick provided background vocals for her sister’s one-woman autobiographical show, “My Music & Me,” which played to sold-out crowds in Europe this year. She also performed on the title song from Dionne Warwick’s gospel album, “Why We Sing,” released January 2008.