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.