Singer Vesta Williams will be laid to rest Tuesday, October 4th. The funeral will be held at West Angeles Church of God in Christ on 3045 S. Crenshaw Boulevard, Los Angeles, California. The family has not yet set a time.
We toldja Williams, an R&B singer and later an actress who had hits in the 1980s with “Don’t Blow a Good Thing” and “Congratulations,” was found dead last Thursday in a hotel room in L.A. She was 53 years old.
The cause may have been a drug overdose, said Capt. John Kades of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Police reports claim several empty prescription pill bottles were found in her hotel room.
Williams broke into the music industry as a background singer for Chaka Khan, Anita Baker and Sting, among others. She dropped her first album, “Vesta,” in 1986.
Standing 5-feet-3, she gained weight in the 1990s, ballooning to a size 26, then went on a dramatic weight loss program, losing 100 pounds and getting down to a size 6.
She told Ebony magazine in 1996 that she began gaining weight rapidly after her singing career started to falter. She blamed her size for the loss of her recording contract.
“When I lost my record deal, and my phone wasn’t ringing, I realized that I had to reassess who Vesta was and figure out what was going wrong,” she said. “I knew it wasn’t my singing ability. So it had to be that I was expendable because I didn’t have the right look.”
She went on to become an advocate for the prevention of childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes.
Mary Vesta Williams was born on Dec. 1, 1957, to a disc jockey in Coshocton, Ohio. She is survived by an adult daughter.
Ms. Williams had been scheduled to perform on Oct. 22 at the 21st annual “DIVAS Simply Singing!” concert in Los Angeles, held to promote AIDS and HIV awareness. The show will pay tribute to her and another soul singer, Teena Marie, who died last December.