Della Reese, the vocal powerhouse who later starred as heaven-sent Tess on the television series Touched By an Angel, died Sunday evening at age 86.
She leaves behind children James, Franklin and Dominique, as well as husband Franklin Lett. She was predeceased by daughter Deloreese.
"On behalf of her husband, Franklin Lett, and all her friends and family, I share with you the news
that our beloved Della Reese has passed away peacefully at her California home last evening surrounded by love. She was an incredible wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and pastor, as well as an award-winning actress and singer. Through her life and work she touched and inspired the lives of millions of people," her costar Roma Downey confirmed this in an exclusive statement.