NEW ORLEANS -- The city has lost a talented New Orleanian.

Singer Marva Wright passed away Tuesday morning following a months-long illness from a stroke. Her family and friends gathered to remember the entertainer with the powerful voice.

'I mean, she was my best friend, my best friend and I'm going to miss her,' said singer Charmaine Neville.

Dozens of family members and friends gathered at the New Orleans East family home where singer Marva Wright passed away early Tuesday morning. She was sick after having a stroke last fall.

'It was so sad for me after she had her stroke because I would call her and she'd remember for a moment who I was and then she would call me one of her daughter's names,' said Neville.

After the stroke the city was no longer able to hear that powerful voice.

'If she was anywheres [sic] on Bourbon Street, you know it was her through all that noise and crowd, you know it was her, simple as that. You know it was her. I'm going to miss her a lot,' said her road manager Llowellyn Brown.

Back in December 1998, reporter Bill Capo interviewed Wright.

'I like to feel what I'm singing and enjoy because I feel that if I can enjoy and feel what I'm singing, then the people out in front of me can enjoy it also,' she said.

When asked how the community should remember Marva, her guitarist of 25 years said, 'As a great blues singer and she loved people. Yep and you know, we going to miss her for sure,' said Benny Turner.

But she will also be remembered too for her big laugh and love of people.

'Easy going, always put a smile on my face, easy to work for, nicest person in the world, nicest in the world. There was nobody who was angry at Marva, mad at Marva, nobody,' remembers Brown.

She was a women who worked her way up from little means.

'I was excited. God Lord, I'm going to Paris. I'm going to London. I'm going to Italy. I'm going to Holland. I'm going all these places. I used to spend my whole salary on souvenirs and then it dawned on me, you're not going for pleasure, you're working. You need to bring some money home,' Wright said with a big laugh back in 1998.

Marva's daughter said her mother said, 'I'm tired and going to sleep.' Her daughter responded, 'I love you, mom.' And those were the last words from the voice that the city will never forget.

Marva Wright just celebrated her 62nd birthday on Saturday.

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