Dubbed the “Black Marilyn Monroe,” Joyce Bryant died on Nov. 20 at 95.
Her niece, Robyn LaBeaud, confirmed her death on her aunt’s official Instagram page.
“Joyce Bryant Born October 14, 1927 passed away November 20, 2022,” the post read. “What a woman she was I will share our journey soon and please don’t forget auntie she love each and everyone of you.”
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LaBeaud also posted the news on her Instagram page, thanking her aunt.
“@joycebryantofficial passed away in her sleep tonight surrounded by family and friends. She went so peaceful with a smile, yes she did,” she wrote. “Rest in power, my Icon auntie. There is nobody like you. Until we meet again, it was my absolute pleasure for me to be your Caretaker and niece. Miss you terribly– she was 95 years old last of our Icons.”
Born and raised in California, Bryant, also referred to as “the Bronze Blond Bombshell,” came from a Seventh-Day Adventist family.In the late 1940s, the songstress decided to pursue a singing career, having her first performance at a Los Angeles club, which led to more gigs.
Fans were enthralled by her phenomenal vocals and stunning silver hair. Bryant became a sex symbol because of her skin-tight mermaid dresses that exposed her cleavage, created by trailblazing African American designer Zelda Wynn.
Her songs “Love for Sale” and “Drunk With Love” contributed to her sex symbol look because of how provocative her voice sounded, which is why they were banned from radio play.
The talented singer and actress was an activist who challenged threats made by the Ku Klux Klan by performing in high-profile venues that rejected Black performers like the Miami Beach Hoel and Casino Royal.
Check out my Icon @joyceBryantofficial Joyce Bryant there is not one woman on the planet like her prove me incorrect 🥰She did Opera Jazz Theater The first woman of color to play in Miami Beach they Burned crosses but she still performed to sold out performances RIP auntie pic.twitter.com/2dUS8jc8Kv
— Robyn LaBeaud (@RawbynsOrganick) November 22, 2022
Bryant left the industry and returned to her Seventh-Day Adventist faith after dealing with corrupt management that took her money, and her guest appearances in Hollywood films got deleted.