At the age of 81, Marlena Shaw, the jazz and R&B vocalist responsible for the iconic “California Soul” song, departed from this life.

Marlena Shaw, an 81-year-old jazz and R&B singer, died on Friday, January 19. Her performance of Ashford and Simpson’s “California Soul” is praised as the classic version. On her daughter’s official Facebook page, the singer confirmed the news.

In a video that was uploaded on Facebook, Marla Shaw, the daughter of Marlena Shaw, states, “It is with a very heavy heart that for myself and my family, I announce that our beloved mother, your beloved icon and artist, has passed away.” “We were at peace; she was peaceful.”

She said, “I know you just saw posts about a birthday celebration yesterday, and my twin sister and I were really appreciative that she was here to celebrate with our family.” “I won’t divulge too much information, of course, but as her fans, we’ll know when it’s necessary.”

On September 22, 1942, Marlena Shaw was born in New Rochelle, New York. She started singing in jazz clubs in the 1960s, and the New York Times noted that her performance had a “harshness” that is initially “off-putting.”

“You don’t go to one of her performances hoping to dream together and hold hands. However, Ms. Shaw’s unvarnished honesty feels bracing once you understand that her aggression isn’t antagonistic or reactive but rather her method of erasing pretense and artifice, the source said in 2005.

The Messengers released the first version of Ashford and Simpson’s song “California Soul” in 1967. The song has been covered numerous times; Shaw’s 1969 recording, from her album “The Spice of Life,” has remained the most well-known, even though Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell recorded a duet of their own on it in 1970.

With over 30 samples in tracks such Gang Starr’s “Check the Technique,” Nightmares on Wax’s “Soul-Ho,” Jay Electronica’s “The Curse of Mayweather,” the Stereo MCs’ “Sofisticated,” and Diplo’s “California Soul” remix, Shaw’s version has particularly retained a significant place in hip-hop.

Shaw’s rendition of “California Soul” is also a staple on video game soundtracks, including in Grand Theft Auto V, Netflix’s 2022 series “The Lincoln Lawyer,” and the 2003 film “The Italian Job.”