January 13, 2018

Denise LaSalle, a durable blues and soul singer and songwriter who in a half-century-long career delved in song into love, cheating, pleasure and heartache, mixing romance with raunchiness, died Monday in Jackson, Tenn. She was 78.

She died in a hospital from complications of surgery, according to her longtime label, Malaco Records.

In October, LaSalle, who lived in Jackson, underwent a leg amputation resulting from complications after a fall. She never fully recovered.

LaSalle recorded blues, soul, gospel and even zydeco music. But at the core of her catalog were down-to-earth story-songs, written or chosen by LaSalle, that revolved around lust. She wrote hundreds of songs, among them “Your Husband Is Cheating on Us,” “Married, but Not to Each Other,” “I Wanna Do What’s on Your Mind” and “It’s Lying Time Again.”  In some of her songs, such as “Snap, Crackle and Pop,” she gave explicit tips on sexual technique.

“Even before I started doing it on record, I was naughty but nice in person,” L...

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