Fontella Bass (born July 3, 1940) is an American soul singer, who is best known for the 1965 R&B hit "Rescue Me", which she also co-wrote.
Fontella Bass was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of gospel singer Martha Bass (a member of the Clara Ward Singers). At an early age, Fontella showed great musical talent – at five years old she was providing the piano accompaniment for her grandmother's singing at funeral services, she was singing in her church's choir at six years old and by the time she was nine she was accompanying her mother on tours throughout the American South and Southwest.
Fontella continued touring with her mother until the age of sixteen. As a teenager, Bass was attracted by more secular music. Throughout high school she began singing R&B songs at local contests and fairs. At seventeen, she started her professional career working at the Showboat Club near Chain of Rocks, Missouri.