Soul singer Wendy Rene dies age 67

Her music was sampled by Wu-Tang Clan and covered by Lykke Li

Soul singer Wendy Rene has died at the age of 67.

The singer suffered a stroke last week (December 16) and passed away in her home town of Memphis, reports Billboard.

Born Mary Frierson, the artist was given her stage name by fellow singer Otis Redding. She signed to Stax in Memphis in 1963 alongside her group The Drapels and also embarked on a solo career, with songs such as ‘After Laughter, Comes Tears’, which was later covered by Lykke Li.


She had planned to retire from the music industry in 1967 to focus on family life, but was set to play one last show, with Redding and his band the Bar-Kays. However, she changed her mind at the last minute and Redding and his band perished in a plane crash on the way to the gig.

‘After Laughter, Comes Tears’ later went on to be sampled by the Wu Tang-Clan for the track ‘Tearz’ on their 1993 album ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)’. In recent years Rene experienced something of a resurgence, playing live in New Orleans in 2010, while her music was re-released on the Light In The Attic label, which also put out music by Rodriguez, with the 2012 compilation ‘After Laughter Comes Tears: Complete Stax & Volt Singles, Rarities, 1964-1965’.