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Pioneering, beloved nightclub owner Arnellia Allen dies

Serious health issues had forced her to close the club earlier this year.

A pioneering Minnesota club owner and beloved community icon has died.

Arnellia Allen opened Arnellia's in St. Paul 25 years ago, and according to MinnPost it was the oldest African-American owned establishment in St. Paul.

In fact, Allen herself made history, becoming the first African-American woman to get a liquor license as well as the first to own a nightclub in the state of Minnesota.

Over the years the jazz and blues club Arnellia's hosted big-name musicians, such as Prince, Zapp, Alexander O'Neal, Bobby Blue Bland and Sounds of Blackness.

But things came to an end earlier this year.

Arnellia's was shut down after Allen began suffering from serious health issues.

On Thursday Allen died at the age of 79, MPR reports, with the Pioneer Press saying she had ovarian cancer.

"Rip to Mrs Arnellia Allen!! This amazing woman was a inspiration to everybody & she was like a grandmother to me!!," wrote DJ Anthony Brown on Facebook. "You will be truly missed & my condolences to all her wonderful family!!"

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