Blues singer Marva Wright in hospital after stroke

Published 9:57 pm Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Orleans blues singer Marva Wright has been hospitalized after a stroke.

Relatives said Wright, 61, had just finished her regular gig at the CoCo Club on Bourbon Street early Saturday when paramedics were called because the singer wasn’t feeling well and had slurred speech.

Wright’s daughter, Gerry McKey, said Tuesday her mother remains in the hospital with limited movement on her right side. McKey said her mother has diabetes and high blood pressure and suffered a less severe stroke about three weeks ago.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Although Wright made a full recovery from that stroke in just a couple of days, McKey said it is taking her mother longer to recover from this one.

“She’s progressing,” McKey said. “She still doesn’t have full function on the right side of her body, but she has feeling. The doctors say she will probably get her movement back.”

Wright’s manager, Adam Shipley, said the singer’s June 19 show at Tipitina’s night club has been canceled and other cancellations may follow. Wright is slated to perform at the Essence Music Festival over the Fourth of July weekend at the Louisiana Superdome.

“We’re going to wait and see how she’s doing,” Shipley said.

Wright’s band, the BMWs, performed as scheduled at a benefit concert in New Orleans for the American Diabetes Association on Sunday with a substitute singer.

Wright is best known for her sultry blues standards, including “Heartbreakin’ Woman” and “Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean.” She also sings traditional jazz and gospel standards.

Wright performs at festivals and special events all over the world. In New Orleans, she’s a regular at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and has performed with some of the city’s biggest names in music, including Allen Toussaint, Fats Domino and Harry Connick Jr.

On the Net:

Marva Wright,