Tony-winning gospel singer Linda Hopkins dies at 92

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In this Jan. 25, 2006 file photo, jazz and blues singer Linda Hopkins performs during a ceremony unveiling a new postage stamp honoring Hattie McDaniel, the first African American to win an Academy Award. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Actress and gospel singer Linda Hopkins, who won a Tony Award in 1972 for the musical “Inner City,” died Monday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, according to her great-niece Hazel Lindsey. She was 92.

Inspired by blues singer Bessie Smith, Hopkins wrote and starred in 1974’s one-woman musical “Me and Bessie,” and was later nominated for a Tony for musical “Black and Blue.”

The New Orleans-born singer toured with Sammy Davis Jr. and jazz musician Branford Marsalis. Her film and television appearances include Clint Eastwood’s “Honkytonk Man,” the miniseries “King” and 1979’s “Roots: The Next Generations.”

Hopkins, whose biggest hit was a cover of “Shake a Hand” with Jackie Wilson, made her singing debut in church at age 3. When she was 11, she was discovered by gospel icon Mahalia Jackson.

Associated Press

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