Singer Della Reese, who had switched from pop and jazz singing in 1950s and 1960s after a long and successful career as a TV actress on "Touched by an Angel" and other shows passes away. She was 86.
Reese died on Sunday night at her home in California, reports variety.com.
"She was an incredible wife, mother, grandmother, friend and pastor as well as an award-winning actress and singer. Through her life and work she touched and inspired the lives of millions of people," actress Roma Downey, Reese's co-star said in a statement.
Singer Dionne Warwick said: "We have lost another voice that I'm sure God will use in that great heavenly choir."
By 1969 she had launched her TV show "Della" - the first talker hosted by an African-American woman.
After a number of guest appearances, Reese broke into TV full-time with a starring role in the hit 1975-78 Jack Albertson-Freddie Prinze comedy series "Chico and the Man."
She is survived by her husband Franklin Lett, a film producer and concert promoter.