• Singer Martha Reeves to be honored by Alabama arts council

    By: Bob D'Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    There will be laughing, singing, and music swinging when singer Martha Reeves receives another honor in May.

    >> Read more trending news 

    Reeves, 77, the lead vocalist of 1960s group Martha and Vandellas, will be honored by the Alabama State Council on the Arts on May 22, AL.com reported. Reeves was the singer for the group’s hits, including “Dancing in the Streets,” “Heat Wave” and “Jimmy Mack.”

    Reeves, a native of Eufaula, will receive Alabama’s 2019 Distinguished Artist Award. The award recognizes “a professional artist who is considered a native or adopted Alabamian and who has earned significant national acclaim for their art over an extended period," according to the council’s website.

    Other recipients of the award include Jim Nabors, Fannie Flagg and George Lindsey.

    Vandella moved to Detroit as a child and grew up singing in church, AL.com reported. Her gospel-influenced vocals were evident in the group’s pop and rhythm and blues songs, which gave the Vandellas a string of hits on the Motown label.

    Reeves was inducted with the group -- Rosalind Ashford-Holmes, Annette Sterling-Helton, Lois Reeves and Betty Kelly -- into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.

    “Martha and the Vandellas were the Supremes’ tougher, more grounded counterpart,” the Rock Hall website says. “With her cheeky, fervent vocals, Martha Reeves led the group in a string of dance anthems that are irresistible to this day.”

    Reeves was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1995. 

    Next Up: