Pamela Hutchinson of 'The Emotions' Dies at 61 after Years of Health Issues — Her Life & Legacy
Pamela Rose Hutchinson of the popular R&B family band The Emotions died on September 18 after battling health issues for several years. She was 61.
Although they appreciate all the posts paying tribute for their sister, the multi-awarded iconic group, The Emotions asked fans and friends to respect their privacy while they mourn the death of Pamela Rose Hutchinson. In a statement posted on Facebook on September 21, the band wrote:
“A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered. We love you, Pamela!”
A 1977 photo of The Emotions band singers Pamela Hutchinson, Wanda Hutchinson, and Sheila Hutchinson. | Getty Images
In the same statement, the group also said that Pamela "succumbed to health challenges that she'd been battling for several years."
Despite the loss of one of the iconic singers in the music industry, a fan noted how influential Pamela was when she would sing with the Hutchinson family.
Another fan wrote that she will miss Pamela's beautiful voice. Truly, her legacy as one of the members of The Emotions lives on for the many people who love the band's music.
Pamela Hutchinson with Wanda and Sheila of The Emotions performs onstage at the Ribs 'N' Soul Festival in Michigan in 2009. | Photo: Getty Images
Another fan chimed in and said that the group’s music became part of his upbringing and that he was “eternally grateful” for Pamela and her sisters’ voices for inspiring him.
Pamela is the youngest of the family and was among the band’s singers together with Wanda Hutchinson, 68, and Shiela Hutchinson, 66. Despite their age differences, the band left a mark in the history of music.
The group's track “Best of My Love” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Pop and R&B charts.
The band, which started in the 1960s, rose to fame in the 1970s for their remarkable hit songs. Because of their unique musical style, they became one of the influential bands in the R&B genre.
In the 1970s, Pamela began to shine after she replaced her older sister, Jeanette, who took a year off to have a baby. Pamela became a permanent singer in the group in 2000.
The Chicago-based group was initially named Hutchinson Sunbeams and was known for singing gospel music. They later changed their name to "The Emotions" and switched to R&B music.
Pamela Hutchinson with sisters Wanda and Sheila during their 1977 appearance on the TV show "Soul Train" in Los Angeles. | Photo: Getty Images
Throughout their career, the band's popularity led them to release nine albums. The group's track "Best of My Love” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Pop and R&B charts.
Because their single was a hit to most R&B fans, the band won their first Grammy for Best R&B Performance By a Duo or a Group With Vocals. The song also eventually became a certified Platinum single in the United States.
Like Pamela, legendary singer Aretha Franklin was also notable in the early 60s and 70s. Franklin, who passed away in August 2018, was a child prodigy in the music scene.
The “Queen of Soul” started to sing at an early age and was a self-taught pianist. Under her 1967 album “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” her song “Respect” earned her two Grammy Awards.