Ortheia Barnes

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Ortheia Barnes-Kennerly (October 18, 1944 – May 15, 2015) was an American R&B and jazz singer who opened for Motown greats including Stevie Wonder and later entered the ministry.[1]

Barnes-Kennerly recorded in the 1960s for Detroit's Mickay Records and Coral Records, a Decca Records label. While never signing with Motown Records, she opened for a number of its stars, including Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight.[2] She was the sister of singer-songwriter J.J. Barnes.


Barnes died in May 2015, in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where she went for a performance, friend and bass player, Ralphe Armstrong told the Detroit Free Press. She had at least two strokes in recent years and died of heart failure, she was 70.[3]


  1. ^ "Ortheia Barnes-Kennerly dies at 70; opened for Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Detroit singer Ortheia Barnes dies at 70". WXYS News. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Detroit R&B-Jazz Singer Ortheia Barnes-Kennerly Dead at 70". ABC News. Retrieved 23 May 2015.

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