Soul singer Wendy Rene has died, aged 67.

Rene, real name Mary Cross, passed away on Tuesday (16Dec14) following complications from a stroke she suffered earlier that day.

She was originally from Memphis, Tennessee and began her career after being signed by Stax Records in the mid 1960s and performing as a backing singer for some of its stars.

She went on to release solo singles After Laughter (Comes Tears) and Bar-B-Q in 1964, which became local hits.

Rene was known for her friendship with Otis Redding and famously cheated death in 1967 when she pulled out of a trip with the soul singer at the last minute, only for his plane to crash, killing Redding and six others.

Rene retired from the music industry in 2010 to focus on her family.