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Marva Whitney, 'Soul Sister No. 1,' Dies At Age 68

Funeral services for Marva Whitney are pending, according to a Facebook page dedicated to the followers of the Kansas City woman known as Soul Sister No. 1.

Whitney died Saturday from complications with pneumonia. She was 68.

Whitney got her start as a gospel singer with her family at their church in their home town of Kansas City, Kansas.

In the late '60s, Whitney toured the world alongside the legendary “Godfather of Soul" James Brown.

Brown became Whitney's manager and producer, and at one time the two shared a romantic relationship.

In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily in 2009, Whitney said, “(Brown) asked me to marry him, but at the time, he was between a rock and a hard place.” Their relationship soured, but Brown wrote before his death he wanted Whitney to sing at his 2006 funeral, and she honored those wishes.

Known to her followers as “Soul Sister No. 1,” Marva Whitney is best known for her hit “It’s My Thing (You Can’t Tell Me Who To Sock It To)" and “Unwind Yourself,” widely sampled by other artists.



Fish Fry host Chuck Haddock interviewed Whitney in February of 2007 about her new release “I Am What I Am.” He plans to replay the interview this Friday on The Fish Fry.

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