Vale: Delilah

US born cabaret singer Delilah, who appeared on TV ads and live variety shows, has died.

She died in a Sydney nursing home yesterday according to friend and showbiz reporter Craig Bennett.

In Australia Delilah was a regular performing jazz in clubs, and made regular TV appearances in Live variety. For 7 years she was the face of the Campbell’s Cash and Carry television advertisements.  In later years however, she battled depression and a gambling addiction.

“Delilah did it all from Las Vegas to the Aussie TV variety-show circuit: Mike Walsh, Don Lane, Bert Newton,” Bennett wrote on Facebook. “The past decade has been a living hell for Dee. Broke, sometimes homeless (and she’d want me to tell this, in fact she was writing her book that would have shocked many).”

Delilah was born to a 13-year-old African-American mother in a ghetto in East Baltimore, Maryland. The family later moved from Maryland to California and, at 18, Delilah went to San Francisco, where she was was inspired to start singing professionally after watching shows by a young Ike and Tina Turner and performers such as B.B.King and James Brown.

A 1976 production of the The Wizard of Oz brought her to Australia and she settled in Sydney in the late 1980s.

“A remarkable talent, a true shining star in a sea of flash-in-the-pan mediocrity,” Bennett wrote.

Additional source: SMH

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