The Emotions are an American Grammy Award–winning soul/R&B vocal group from Chicago, Illinois. The group started out in gospel music but transitioned into R&B and disco music. The Emotions were named by VH1 as one of the 18 most influential girl groups of all time. On September 18, 2020, Pamela Hutchinson died at the age of 61.
(CNN)Pamela Hutchinson, famed R&B singer with family group “The Emotions,” has died at the age of 61, according to a post on the band’s official Facebook page Sunday.
“Pam succumbed to health challenges that she’d been battling for several years,” the post read. “Now our beautiful sister will sing amongst the angels in heaven in perfect peace.” Hutchinson died on Friday, the post said, while asking fans and friends to respect the family’s privacy.
The group was originally a gospel outfit known as the Hutchinson Sunbeams who toured the gospel circuit with their father Joe Hutchinson. The Sunbeams sang on Jerry Van Dyke’s “Children’s Gospel” television show and also occasionally performed in the concert with Mahalia Jackson. They eventually became an R&B/Soul act with a popular following in their hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Soon being renamed as The Emotions, they signed with the Memphis-based Volt imprint of Stax Records in the late 60s. Under the production of Isaac Hayes and David Porter the group issued their 1969 debut album entitled So I Can Love You on Stax.
“So I Can Love You” rose to no. 43 upon the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart. The album’s title track got to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart and No. 39 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Another single entitled “The Best Part Of A Love Affair” rose to no. 27 upon the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart.
During 1970, The Emotions released a single entitled “Heart Association.” That song reached No. 29 on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart. The girl group went on to release their sophomore LP entitled Untouched in 1972 upon Stax. A song from the album called “Show Me How” rose to No. 13 upon the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart.
During 1972, the girl group also released another single called “My Honey and Me.” That song reached No. 18 on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart.
The Emotions then started to work on their third studio album entitled Songs of Innocence and Experience. This LP was due to be issued in 1973, but was eventually shelved. The girl group went on to appear in the 1973 feature film Wattstax, performing the song “Peace Be Still.” The tune went on to be added to the movie’s soundtrack. Wattstax was also nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Documentary. With Stax becoming defunct in 1975, the group then left the record label altogether.
The Emotions have been sampled by rappers such as Big Daddy Kane, Tupac Shakur, LL Cool J, Wu Tang Clan, 50 Cent, Ice Cube, Salt n Pepa, De La Soul, Kanye West, A Tribe Called Quest and Notorious BIG.
Artists such as Toni Braxton, 112, Mariah Carey, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Mary J Blige, Ginuwine, Keyshia Cole, Tamia and Janet Jackson have also sampled the girl group.
Their songs have also been covered by artists such as Phoebe Snow, Minnie Riperton, Marcia Hines, Patti La Belle, Maysa, The Temptations, Will Downing and Nancy Wilson.
The Emotions have also influenced artists such as En Vogue, Anita Baker, Shanice, Regina Belle, Lalah Hathaway, Jade, Erykah Badu, Kirk Whalum, Sheena Easton, Teena Marie and Fantasia.