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Phoebe Snow, Soulful '70s Singer of Poetry Man, Dies

Phoebe Snow, Soulful '70s Singer of Poetry Man, Dies 1Phoebe Snow, a singer-songwriter who came of age in the 1970s, where her hit “Poetry Man,” became a singular classic, has died from complications of a brain hemmorrhage. She was 58.

Manager Sue Cameron told Associated Press she had suffered blood clots, pneumonia and congestive heart failure. For most of last year, she was in a medically induced coma.

Snow’s power pop-ballads helped define the singer-songwriter music era when musicians like James Taylor, Carole King, Janis Ian and others came of age.

Unbeknown to most fans, she also had a prolific career as a writer of theme songs and advertising jingles. Among others she wrote the theme song for NBC’s “A Different World” and ad jingle “Celebrate the moments of your life.”

In her later years, she did some touring but spent most of her time caring for her disabled daughter Valarie, who was born with severe hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the brain cavity.

Valerie died in 2007.

She was a regular guest on Howard Stern’s radio show and sang at his 2008 wedding to Beth Ostrosky, according to the New York Daily News.

As her profile and career rose, many people thought she was African American because of her soulful voice.

But she was born Phoebe Laub in Teaneck, N.J., to Jewish parents.

She came of age in Greenwich Village coffee houses after dropping out of college.

Her music evolved into an eclectic mix of folk, blues, jazz, gospel and pop, and in 1972, she was signed by Denny Cordell of Shelter Records.

She had soaring vocals and powered “Poetry Man” to No. 4 on the pop charts in 1974, when her debut album was released. She was nominated for a Grammy as best new artist that year.

She continued to record, toured and appeared at Woodstock 1994. Before she suffered a stroke in Jan. 2010, she had been working on a new album with plans to tour, again.

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