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R&B and Jazz Icon Angela Bofill Passes Away at 70

Angela Bofill, the acclaimed R&B and jazz singer known for hits like "This Time I'll Be Sweeter" and "I Try," died Thursday morning at her daughter's home in Vallejo, California. She was 70.

News of her passing was shared on her personal Facebook account in two separate posts.

"On behalf of my dear friend Angie, I am saddened to announce her passing on the morning of June 13," read the first post. It noted that her funeral will be held at St. Dominick's Church in California on June 28 at 1 p.m.

A follow-up post added, "Just to clear up the confusion. On behalf of Shauna Bofill and her husband, Chris Portuguese, we are saddened but must report that Angela's passing yesterday is indeed true. We thank Melba Moore and Maysa for their early condolences. Thanks for your many posts."

The messages were signed by her friend and manager, Rich Engel.
Bofill, born Angela Tomasa Bofill on May 2, 1954, in the Brooklyn area of New York City to a Cuban father and a Puerto Rican mother, began her professional career in her teens, recording her first studio album, "Angie," in 1978. The album included the chart single "This Time I'll Be Sweeter" and the jazz composition "Under the Moon and Over the Sky." Her second album, "Angel of the Night," released less than a year later, outperformed its predecessor and included hits like "I Try."

Raised in The Bronx, she grew up listening to Latin music and was also inspired by African-American performers. During her childhood, weekends were spent studying classical music and singing in New York City's All City Chorus, which featured the best singers from high schools across the five boroughs.

She attended Hunter College High School, graduating in 1972, and later studied at the Manhattan School of Music, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in 1976.
Bofill faced significant health challenges due to two strokes in 2006 and 2007. She took a five-year hiatus from performing to concentrate on her recovery, making a triumphant return to the stage in 2011.

In a December 2020 interview with Essence magazine, Bofill laughed off rumors of her death that had circulated online months earlier. "Friends calling up, ‘Oh my God, am I talking to the ghost of Angela Bofill?’ Thank God it’s not true," she said.

Reflecting on the tributes that poured in during that time, she expressed gratitude. "You always must welcome love," she said. "I figured, ‘They really like me!’ [I’m just] laughing at it, really. It’s better to have a sense of humor.”
“I feel happy performing again,” she told The Denver Post in 2011. “I need the crowd. It's in my blood to entertain. Any time a crowd comes to see me, I’m surprised. I don't sing anymore, yet people still come. Wow. Impressed.”

In the same interview, Engel recounted Bofill’s career during the 1970s and '80s, highlighting her exceptional vocal range: "She had a rare voice. She could hit low notes and could hit high C. Her pitch was perfect.”

Despite complications from her strokes, Bofill maintained a positive outlook. “But my voice no sing. I'd rather not sing. Awful. It cracks me up! Funny! I laugh about it. But very grateful — still living. Never take things for granted,” she said.

Throughout her career, Bofill released numerous albums and hit singles, including "Something About You," "I'm on Your Side," "Let Me Be the One," and "I Just Wanna Stop." She was one of the first Latina singers to find success in the R&B and jazz markets.

In 2023, Bofill was inducted into the Women Songwriters Hall of Fame, a testament to her enduring influence and contribution to music.

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