NEW YORK, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- New Orleans rhythm and blues singer Timothea Beckerman died Tuesday in New York of complications from hepatitis C at age 55.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported on Beckerman, who spent her final years raising awareness for hepatitis C, which destroys the liver. Beckerman was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1999 and subsequently founded Sirens to Wail, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increased awareness of the disease and support for those already afflicted.
Beckerman released her first single, "Teenage Prayer," in 1966 at age 14 after working the same bar circuit as Earl King, Irma Thomas and Aaron Neville.
During her career, Beckerman sang at Dorothy's Medallion Lounge and Tipitina's, among other prominent New Orleans venues. She recorded her first full-length CD, "Twisted Funky & Blue" in 1993.
During her final days, Beckerman stayed with friends in Florida and North Carolina after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Her last move was to New York, where she died at New York Presbyterian Hospital, the Times-Picayune reported.