Marva Hicks, beloved for her notable musical, Broadway, and television credits, has passed away.
A representative for the late Motown: The Musical star announced that she died in New York City on Friday, September 16. No cause of death accompanied the unfortunate news.
Hicks’ family released a grievous statement in honor of her life.
“It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of our dear Marva Hicks Taha. Our beloved wife, family member and friend will be greatly missed and remain marvelous in our hearts forever,” her husband, Akwasi Taha, and family said in a statement shared with The Hollywood Reporter.
“The love she had for her husband, family, friends and entertainment community knew no bounds. We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love. Thank you for your compassion and prayers.”
A native of Petersburg, Virginia, Hicks graduated from Howard University before making her theatrical debut in Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music. The 80s and 90s were filled with opportunities for Hicks to make a name for herself as an R&B vocal talent. She lent her sultry alto voice in background vocals for the likes of Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, and Glenn Jones. In 1991, she released her own self-titled album, which included a Top 10-charting hit single, “Never Been in Love Before.”
Hicks continued hitting the charts with a duet with Michael Jackson on his number one hit “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” She also performed with both Jackson and Stevie Wonder on numerous worldwide tours.
In 1997, Hicks made her return to Broadway as an understudy for Rafiki in Disney’s The Lion King before stepping into her role as The Radio in the original production of Caroline, Or Change. Her final Broadway performance was in Motown: The Musical, where she sang “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” as originally written for Gladys Knight. She is a three-time Helen Hayes Award winner for her stage repertoire.
The multi-hyphenate also appeared on television, including Mad About You, One Life to Live, L.A. Law, Star Trek: Voyager, Madam Secretary and Sister, Sister.
Hicks’ last performance was in Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous at the Alliance Theatre in April 2022.
Hicks is survived by her husband, Akwasi.