Singer and Winston-Salem native Chris Murrell dies at 61

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Chris Murrell (Journal file photo)

Chris Murrell, a Winston-Salem native whom Tony Bennett described as “one of my favorite singers,” died on Sunday, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. He was 61.

Murrell is best known for his work with the Count Basie Orchestra and singers such as Bennett, but he also performed locally for many years, and the music community is mourning his loss.

Murrell’s late mother, Bernice Murrell, encouraged his singing.

“She forced me to go to a Saturday children’s choir rehearsal at age 10,” Murrell wrote in a statement on his website, “I was not a happy camper! However, when she returned, I ran to the car and shouted, ‘Mom, I want to sing for the rest of my life!'”

Read more in the Winston-Salem Journal.