For one generation Della Reese, is best known for her role as Tess on the CBS TV Series Touched by an Angel. Details of her death on Sunday were revealed by her family and her longtime friend and co-star Roma Downey.
But Della Reese’s career began long before that TV series. In Detroit, she found her voice singing gospel in her local church and at the age of 13, she was selected to sing with famed gospel singer Mahalia Jackson.
Reese's career took off in 1957 thanks to her hit song "And That Reminds Me." Two years later, her hit "Don't You Know?" went on to become her signature song, selling more than a million copies and reaching number two on the charts.
Reese earned a Grammy Award nomination in 1960 for her album "Della," and she later had two more nominations.
Reese's career, which spanned six decades, would be most fruitful when she transitioned into acting in 1969. Her first attempt at television was her talk show, Della, which ran for 197 episodes before being canceled. After starring in hit films such as Harlem Nights and guest-starring on several hit TV shows, including Sanford and Son, The Love Boat, Night Court and Designing Women.
In 1999 at the White House, then-President Bill Clinton introduced Della as she brought Blues Legend BB King on Stage to join her.
Reese leaves behind her husband, Franklin Lett, and her children, James, Franklin and Dominique Reese. Della Reese was 86.
Click above to hear Doug Doyle's tribute to Della Reese.