“It’s In His Kiss” Singer Linda Lewis Dies at 72

Linda Lewis, the British singer and songwriter best known for the singles “Sideway Shuffle,” “Rock-a-Doodle-Doo” and her 1975 version of the Rudy Clark-penned hit “Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss),” died on May 3. She was 72. News of her death was shared by her sister Dee Lewis Clay on social media.

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“It is with the greatest sadness and regret we share the news that our beloved beautiful sister Linda Lewis passed away today peacefully at her home,” wrote Clay. “The family asks that you respect our privacy and allow us to grieve at this heartbreaking time.”

Born Linda Fredericks on September 27, 1950, in Essex, England, Lewis attended stage school and starred in a few films as a teen in the 1960s, including The Beatles‘ A Hard Day’s Night in 1964.

A self-taught guitarist and keyboardist, Lewis performed at the first Glastonbury Festival in 1970. Lewis released her debut album, Say No More a year later and had one of her biggest hits in 1975 with “Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss),” first made famous by Betty Everett in 1964 and later by Cher in 1990. “It’s In His Kiss” peaked at No. 6 on the U..K. charts for Lewis.

Also known for her five-octave vocal range, often compared to Mariah Carey’s, Lewis also provided backing vocals for David Bowie, Rod Stewart, Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Jamiroquai, and Joan Armatrading, among other artists in the studio and on tour throughout her more than five-decade career.

“I’m so sorry to hear of Linda Lewis’ passing,” shared Stevens on social media. “She was a good soul-friend and fine artist. Her flat on Hampstead Way was a regular home for artists and musicians in the ’70s. Linda became my personal support act during the Bamboozle Tour of 1974, and traveled with our troupe all over the world, up to Japan. What a voice.”

In addition to touring together, Stevens went on to produce several of Lewis’ albums. “She sang the sweetest melody on my ballad, ‘How Can I Tell You’ as well as the chorus on ‘Angelsea,'” added Stevens. “Linda was like an amazing bird that kindly visited the window sill of our earthly house for a few days, then flew away back to her garden. And I am so glad to know she entered Islam a couple of years ago at Peter Sanders’ house, at the hand of a beautiful spiritual Shaikh from Gambia, Muhammad Al Jilani. God grant her eternal love and peace in the ever blossoming garden, where her heart belongs.”

Midge Ure, who fronted Visage and Ultravoxx, is one of many artists who has shared a message of remembrance for Lewis. “Really sad to hear this,” wrote Ure. “I had a massive crush on Linda Lewis. ‘Not a little girl anymore’ was a great song and beautifully sung by her.”

Armatrading added, “I’m so sad to hear of the death of Linda Lewis. She had a beautiful voice and was a really lovely person. RIP Linda.”

In 2002, a collection of Lewis’ music from the 1970s, Reach for the Truth, was released, followed by a larger career retrospective, The Best of Linda Lewis, and the 2005 compilation Legends. To commemorate her 50th anniversary in music, Lewis also released the Funky Bubbles box set of rarities and live versions in 2017.

Throughout her career, Lewis released 10 albums, including her most recent, Kiss of Life, in 1999. Most recently, Lewis appeared on The Paracosmos’ song “Earthling,” released in early 2023. This year, Lewis also appeared on the James Whale Unleashed show on TalkTV with her sisters Dee and Shirley for an acoustic performance of her song “Rock-A-Doodle-Doo.”

Lewis is survived by her sisters Dee and Shirley and her husband, music agent Neil Warnock.

Photo: John Mitchell/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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