Legendary Atlanta singer Theresa Hightower dies at 64

Theresa Hightower, a popular and legendary singer, died Oct. 10.  HANDOUT

Theresa Hightower, a popular and legendary singer, died Oct. 10.  HANDOUT

Legendary jazz singer Theresa Hightower is dead at 64.

Hightower, who thrilled audiences with her powerful vocals, died on Oct. 10 after a battle with colon cancer, said her son, Tony Hightower.

He said his mother began singing when she was 19 and her career spanned more than four decades.

The singer, songwriter and actress  coined her sound “jazzbluesfunk,” he said.

He said they had just started working on a new CD project that would focus on the blues. Her last album, “Multifacted,”  featured songs written by Miles Davis and by Theresa and Tony Hightower.

Services are pending. Tony Hightower said it would be a “celebration of life” for his mother.

Separately, classmates and friends of the popular singer will hold a prayer vigil at 10 a.m. Saturday in the multi-purpose hall at Mount Vernon Baptist Church, 815 Lynhurst Drive, S.W.

“Music was my mom’s life,” said Hightower, who is also a singer and songwriter. “It was her everything. She loved to make people feel good and she felt good through her music. She felt most at home on the stage.”

His mother also had a strong spiritual foundation.

“She always used her platform to spread the love of Jesus,” he said.

His mother had several stage and TV roles including an appearance on the popular OWN show “Greenleaf.” She also played the lead as Dinah Washington in “Queen of the Blues.”

According to the bio on her web site, Hightower performed during the Olympic Games in Atlanta and later was invited to perform during a two-week engagement in Paris at the famed Quai du Blues. As a cultural ambassador, Hightower also represented the United States during tours in Turkey, Greece, Spain, Italy, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East.