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'Angel Baby' Singer Rosie Hamlin Dies

SAN DIEGO, CA (CelebrityAccess) — Rosie Hamlin, a singer who scored a hit with the single "Angel Baby" which would become a staple of high school dances for decades, has died. She was 71.

News of Hamlin's passing was announced on her website in a notice posted by a family member, who wrote: “Very Saddened to say that my mom Rosalie Hamlin passed away today March 30, 2017. She was 71 and passed in her sleep. She didn't perform anymore, and had removed herself from the music scene because of health concerns. She did still paint and tended a very lovely garden. She will be greatly missed by so many. Thank you for all your wishes and time and kind words. It meant a lot to her. God bless.”

A native of Oregon, Hamlin wrote the lyrics for the original version of "Angel Baby" at the age of 14 and first recorded it in a rented sound studio with friends who formed her band The Originals when she was 15. While the initially had trouble finding a label for the hit, they finally landed a deal with a scout from Highland Records after convincing a local department store to play the record over the PA system.

The single proved to be a hit, spending 13 weeks in the Billboard Hot after debuting at #40 in 1960. The song would go on to be covered by a host of artists, including Linda Ronstadt, Kathy Young, John Lennon and System of a Down.

Despite their initial success, the Originals failed to find much traction with subsequent releases and soon parted ways. Hamlin discovered that she was ineligible to collect record royalties from the song because she was not listed as the songwriter, leading to decades of litigation.

Following the breakup of the originals, Hamlin teamed up with guitarist Noah Tafolla, with him she recorded an album for Brunswick and toured. The two later married and had two children together.

Hamlin continued to record sporadically, including her 2000 album "Angel Baby Revisited." – Staff Writers