TAMPA, Fla. — Rosa Lee Hawkins, an original member of the rhythm and blues trio the Dixie Cups who shot to No. 1 with “Chapel of Love” in 1964, died Tuesday in a Florida hospital. She was 76.
Her older sister and fellow bandmate Barbara Hawkins, told NOLA.com that Rosa Lee Hawkins died from internal bleeding and other complications following a surgical procedure in a Tampa, Florida, hospital.
The Dixie Cups were best known for their 1964 No. 1 single “Chapel of Love” and the 1965 hit “Iko Iko,” the website reported. “Chapel of Love” featured the close harmonies of the Hawkins sisters and their cousin, Joan Marie Johnson, NOLA.com reported.
The song also knocked the Beatles from the top of the Billboard 100, The New York Times reported. “Be My Baby” replaced “Love Me Do” at No. 1 and remained in the top spot for three weeks.
“Chapel of Love” was later covered by the Beach Boys and was featured in the soundtracks to the movies “Full Metal Jacket” (1987) and “Father of the Bride” (1991), the Times reported.
The group’s other hits included “People Say,” “You Should Have Seen the Way He Looked at Me” and “Little Bell,” NOLA.com reported.
Johnson left the group in 1966, but the Dixie Cups continued to perform with Athelgra Neville, a childhood friend and sister of the Neville Brothers, stepping in, the website reported.
The Hawkins sisters moved to Tampa, where Rosa Lee Hawkins’ son lived, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, according to NOLA.com.
Johnson died in 2016, the newspaper reported.
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