Marva Hicks, an award-winning actress and singer, died at age 66 in New York City. Reps for the trailblazing star confirmed the news, and a cause of death has not been revealed. Her husband Akwasi Taha and her family also released a statement:
“It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of our dear Marva Hicks Taha. Our beloved wife, family member and friend will be greatly missed and remains marvellous in our hearts forever. Her love for her husband, family, friends and entertainment community knew no bounds. The incredible outpouring of love has deeply touched us. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. Memorial arrangements will be announced in the coming days.”
The Petersburg, Virginia native, was a Howard University graduate. Her distinct voice is heard on her debut self-titled album released in 1991. Her hit single, “Never Been In Love Before,” peaked at No. 7 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and spent 17 weeks on the chart overall. During her time as an artist, she collaborated with Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder on several international tours. She served as a background vocalist to Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, James Ingram, and more.
Hicks was also a key figure in the theatre world, being a three-time Helen Hayes Award winner. The Helen Hayes Award recognizes the “outstanding achievement from professional theatres and theatre-makers across the DC area,” paying tribute to the late Hayes, considered the “First Lady of American Theatre.” her Broadway credits include Motown, The Lion King, Lena Horne: The Lady at Her Music, Caroline or Change, and most recently, an off-Broadway production of Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous.
Hicks also had many film and TV credits, including Sister, Mad About You, and Star Trek.
VIBE sends our deepest condolences to the Hicks-Taha family during this time.