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Twin Cities music community mourns Minnesota's 'First Lady of Song'

Singer Debbie Duncan died Friday. She was 69.

A longtime fixture of the Twin Cities jazz scene has passed away.

Debbie Duncan, a prolific performer at local venues like Crooners in Fridley and the Dakota Jazz Club in downtown Minneapolis, died early Friday morning:

The 69-year-old had been in ill health since late October, when her Facebook page put out a call for prayers following a medical emergency.

According to the Star Tribune, she had suffered a series of strokes and was in a Golden Valley nursing home when she died.

As the paper notes, apart from her talent, Duncan was known for her support of the local music community, and if "she wasn't on stage, she might be sitting at the bar, or standing in the back of the room" to watch her fellow artists perform. 

Duncan was a native of Detroit, Michigan, but had been in the Twin Cities since the mid-1980s, when she took a job with the orchestra at Rupert's Nightclub (now the Metropolitan) in Golden Valley, The Current writes. 

She was also active in music education, teaching "with various organizations, particularly encouraging Black youth to take up instruments and learn about jazz history," the station says. 

You can check out one of her performances in the video below:

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