American singer/actress Kaye Stevens has died at the age of 79.
Stevens, who was famed for her performances as a sidekick to the Rat Pack stars, passed away at a Florida hospital on Wednesday (28Dec11) following a battle with breast cancer.
Stevens broke into showbiz after filling in for Debbie Reynolds at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas when the singer fell sick and was unable to perform.
She then went on to headline sell out shows across America, before touring with Rat Pack crooners including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Johnny Carson. She also performed for soldiers in Vietnam alongside Bob Hope.
Stevens made a foray into acting, making her film debut in 1962's The Interns, for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination, as well as appearing in 1975's Let's Switch! and 1983's Jaws 3.
Throughout her career the singer also made regular appearances on Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show, various game shows and as a regular on U.S. TV show Days of Our Lives in the 1970s.
Stevens battled alcoholism but in the mid 1980s she renewed her Christian faith and started her own ministry, performing only Christian and patriotic music over the last two decades.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.