In 1987 Della Reese-Lett, world famous singer, actress and television personality, was ordained as a minister.Della
, who was born Deloreese Patricia Early in Detroit, Michigan, began singing in church when she
was 6 years old.Through those formative years she
was involved in gospel singing.At the age of 13, she was hired by the Late Mahalia Jackson to tour and perform with her.
As Reverend Della recalls, "This opportunity to sing with the 'world's foremost gospel singer' was a thrilling experience."Later, while majoring in psychology at Wayne State University, in Detroit, Della formed her own female gospel group, The Meditation Singers, which is listed in the "Who's Who of Gospel Music."
roots were still in gospel Music, Della
developed an individual popular style that took her
to national prominence.In 1953, she
made the move to New York City, became a vocalist with the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra.Her
early recordings include: "In The Still of The Night", "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm", and "Time After Time".Della
first major hit with "And That Reminds Me (of you)".In 1959, Della
biggest hit, a tune adapted from Puccini's "La Boheme", entitled "Don't You Know?"and was nominated for a Grammy as best female vocalist.This led to Della
performing for the next nine years in Las Vegas on the famed "Strip".