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Veteran US radio presenter Rita Houston has died aged 59, with stars including Tom Jones sharing their sadness at her "great loss".
The much-respected music champion died of ovarian cancer on December 15 at her home in Valley Cottage, New York state, her wife Laura Fedele confirmed to the New York Times.
The Voice's Tom Jones shared his sadness, writing on Twitter : "The passing of @RitaHoustonWFUV is a great loss to artists and listeners alike.
"She was a wonderful presenter who possessed not only great knowledge but natural intelligence, warmth, and good humour. She will be missed…RIP Rita."
Veteran US radio presenter Rita Houston has died aged 59, with stars including Tom Jones sharing their sadness at her "great loss"
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Rita was the program director at WFUV, a listener-supported station licensed to the private Fordham University in New York's Bronx neighbourhood.
Tom Jones was one of many big stars to appear on one of her popular in-studio performances, with others including Adele and EmmyLou Harris.
She championed young musicians such as folksinger Ms Carlile, who shared a Facebook post remembering their first meeting.
Rita was the program director at WFUV, a listener-supported station licensed to the private Fordham University in New York's Bronx neighbourhood
Tom Jones was one of many big stars to appear on one of her popular in studio performances, with others including Adele and EmmyLou Harris
(Image: Getty Images)
Ms Carlile credited Rita with helping her come out to the wider public.
She wrote on Facebook: "Is that your plus one?’ Rita Houston said to 22-year-old me as a picture of my girlfriend accidentally popped up on my cellphone screen."
After she hesitated, Rita told her: "'I don’t know what it’s like where you’re from, but this is N.Y.C. We’re going lesbian karaoke singing right now. Do a shot of tequila and get your coat.'"