Sandra Tilley
Sandra Tilley was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Rhythm and blues
Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated to R&B, is a genre of popular African American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a...

 and soul
Soul music
Soul music is a music genre originating in the United States combining elements of gospel music and rhythm and blues. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of...

 singer, known for being a member of Motown
Motown Records
Motown is a record label originally founded by Berry Gordy, Jr. and incorporated as Motown Record Corporation in Detroit, Michigan, United States, on April 14, 1960. The name, a portmanteau of motor and town, is also a nickname for Detroit...

 girl groups the Velvelettes
The Velvelettes
The Velvelettes was an American singing girl group, signed to Motown in the 1960s.-Early years and establishment:The group was founded in 1961 by Bertha Barbee McNeal and Mildred Gill Arbor, students at Western Michigan University. Mildred recruited her younger sister Carolyn , who was in 9th...

 and Martha and the Vandellas
Martha and the Vandellas
Martha and the Vandellas were among the most successful groups of the Motown roster during the period 1963–1967...

. She was also a brief member in the soul group the Orlons
The Orlons
The Orlons are an American R&B group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that formed in 1960. They received gold discs for the million selling achievements of three of their singles...

. She was a native of Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

. Her parents were both ex-Vaudeville dancers who were killed in a auto accident when she was a baby, and she was raised by her grandmother.

Tilley joined the Velvelettes after one of the original members of the group left in 1966. She left the group to replace original Vandellas member Rosalind Ashford
Rosalind Ashford
Rosalind "Roz" Ashford-Holmes is an American soprano R&B and soul singer, famed for her work as member of the popular Motown singing group Martha and the Vandellas.-Early years:...

 in 1969. Although her picture was on the cover of Sugar 'n' Spice, released in February 1970, it is unlikely she sang on the album. The first song she recorded with the Vandellas was "Something", which appeared originally on the 1970 album Natural Resources
Natural Resources
Natural Resources is a soul album released by Motown girl group Martha Reeves and the Vandellas in 1970 on the Gordy label. The album is significant for the Vietnam War ballad "I Should Be Proud" and the slow jam, "Love Guess Who"...

. She sang on the chart hit "Bless You", "Your Loves Makes It All Worthwhile" and the album Black Magic before the group splintered altogether following a farewell tour in 1972.

Tilley's highlights as a Vandellas member included performing at the Copacabana
Copacabana is a borough located in the southern zone of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It's known for its 4 km beach, which is one of the most famous in the world.- History :...

 in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 with Judy Garland
Judy Garland
Judy Garland was an American actress and singer. Through a career that spanned 45 of her 47 years and for her renowned contralto voice, she attained international stardom as an actress in musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist and on the concert stage...

 and F. Lee Bailey in the audience. She also toured the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 with the group when "Forget Me Not" became a top ten hit in the UK in 1970. Other highlights include appearances she made with the group on various television programs including The Mike Douglas show and popular dance show, Soultrain.

Tilley retired from the music industry and got married in July 1972. She developed a brain tumor
Brain tumor
A brain tumor is an intracranial solid neoplasm, a tumor within the brain or the central spinal canal.Brain tumors include all tumors inside the cranium or in the central spinal canal...

, and died after brain aneurysm surgery was performed at a hospital in Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Nevada and is also the county seat of Clark County, Nevada. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and fine dining. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous...

, Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

 on September 9, 1981, at the age of 35. She had no children, and was survived by her husband and grandmother.

In 1995, she was posthumously inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as member of the Vandellas.
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