How did Rosa Hawkins die? Dixie Cups singer passes away at 76

Rosa Hawkins recently died at the age of 76 (Image via Erika Goldring/Getty Images)
Rosa Hawkins recently died at the age of 76 (Image via Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

Rosa Hawkins of The Dixie Cups passed away on January 11 at Tampa General Hospital. She was 76 years old at the time of death.

The news was confirmed by her sister Barbara Hawkins, who said that the most important thing for Rosa after her son, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews was her singing. She wrote:

“She was very happy when she was onstage. Her whole attitude and demeanor were different because she was doing something she loved.”

Barbara mentioned that they were married to their business and had their disagreements. However, their mother taught them never to go to bed angry with each other, and they followed it.

The Dixie Cups have not performed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. They were supposed to be performing at the French Quarter Festival and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in Spring 2022.

The group said they would honor the plans like Rosa always wanted. Barbara stated:

“She had said, ‘I’ll probably go before you, but please don’t stop singing.’ I love her like I still love my mom, It will never be past tense. I will always love her.”

Rosa Hawkins cause of death explored

Rosa Hawkins died from internal bleeding and surgery complications after undergoing a procedure last week. This was also confirmed by her sister Barbara Hawkins when she informed people of her death.

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However, further details on Rosa’s health condition and the problems she was suffering from are yet to be revealed.


Journey of The Dixie Cups

The Dixie Cups gained recognition in 1964 with Chapel of Love, which was originally written for The Ronettes. The group included sisters Barbara Ann and Rosa Hawkins, alongside cousin Joan Marie Johnson.

The trio pursued their musical career in 1963 and sang locally as the Meltones. Singer Joe Jones joined them as their manager and took them to New York City where they were signed by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller under Red Bird Records.

Rosa Hawkins, Barbara Hawkins and Athelgra Neville Gabriel of The Dixie Cups ride in the 2018 Krewe of Orpheus Parade (Image via Erika Goldring/Getty Images)
Rosa Hawkins, Barbara Hawkins and Athelgra Neville Gabriel of The Dixie Cups ride in the 2018 Krewe of Orpheus Parade (Image via Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

The group’s debut single, Chapel of Love, was released in 1964 and topped the Billboard Hot 100. The track was then featured on the Full Metal Jacket soundtrack and the film Father of the Bride in 1991.

The Dixie Cups continued to deliver more hits like People Say, Little Bell, Iko Iko, and more. They moved to the ABC-Paramount record label in 1965 and shifted to New Orleans in 1974, where they pursued their careers in modeling.

While Barbara and Rosa worked as make-up artists, Joan retired due to the stress she suffered from traveling. She was eventually replaced by Beverly Brown, who remained a member until the early 80s.

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Beverly was soon replaced by Dale Mickle. The group was then honored by The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in April 2007.

Edited by Rhythm Bhatia