Signe Anderson, Jefferson Airplane's original female vocalist, dies at 74

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Signe Anderson, the first female vocalist of Jefferson Airplane, died Thursday, the same day the band's Paul Kantner also died. She was 74.

A cause of death has yet to be revealed, but former band mate Jack Casady said Anderson had recently been entered into hospice care. Kantner died of multiple organ failure and septic shock.

Anderson was born Signe Toly in Seattle, and raised in Portland. She joined Jefferson Airplane in 1965, marrying Merry Prankster Jerry Anderson shortly after.

The vocalist sang on the band's debut LP in 1965, "Jefferson Airplane Takes Off," which featured her lead vocals on Chet Powers' "Let's Get Together" and "Chauffeur Blues."

Look back at old photos of the band:

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Signe Anderson, Jefferson Airplane's original female vocalist, dies at 74
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Jefferson Airplane (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Jefferson Airplane (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Jefferson Airplane (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Jefferson Airplane (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1960: Photo of Jefferson Airplane Photo by Tom Copi/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 08: January 8, 1967, New York, New York City, Webster Hall, Jefferson Airplane, L-R: Jack Casady, MartyBalin, Grace Slick, Spencer Dryden, Jorma Kaukonen, Paul Kantner, Jefferson Airplanes first New York appearance. (Photo by Mi
UNSPECIFIED - MAY 01: Jefferson Airplane 013 c MOA May 1967.jpg (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 01: Photo of Jefferson Airplane, New York, New York City, Hunter College, Jefferson Airplane, L-R seated: Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Spencer Dryden, Marty Balin, Jack Casady, Leaning on bench in back: Jorma Kaukonen Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
UNITED STATES - JUNE 17: Photo of Jefferson Airplane at the Monterey Pop Festival (Photo by Paul Ryan/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 1: Jefferson Airplane on THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR. From left: Paul Kantner, Jack Casady, Spencer Dryden, Grace Slick, Jorman Kaukonen and Marty Balin. Image dated November 1, 1968. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Jefferson Airplane Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Portrait of Jefferson Airplane, New York, 1988. (Photo by Anthony Barboza/Getty Images)
Portrait of American rock group Jefferson Airplane, Los Angeles, California, early 1990s. Pictured are, from left, Paul Kantner, Marty Balin, Grace Slick, Jorma Kaukonen, and Jack Casady. (Photo by Anthony Barboza/Getty Images)
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Anderson decided to leave the band in 1966 after giving birth to her first child. She stuck with Jefferson Airplane as it searched for a replacement, which would become Grace Slick of Great Society.

Anderson gave her last performance with Jefferson Airplane on Oct. 15, 1966. Slick took the stage with the band the following night.

After news came out of her death, tributes from Anderson's former band mates poured out on social media.

"One sweet lady has passed on," Marty Balin wrote on his Facebook. "I imagine that she and Paul woke up in heaven and said 'Hey what are you doing here? Let's start a band' and no sooner then said Spencer was there joining in!" Balin was referring to Jefferson Airplane's late drummer, Spencer Dryen.

SIGNE"One sweet Lady has passed on. I imagine that she and Paul woke up in heaven and said "Hey what are you doing...

Posted by Marty Balin on Saturday, January 30, 2016

"Signe was one of the strongest people I have ever met," guitarist Jorma Kaukonen wrote on his blog. "She was our den mother in the early days of the Airplane... a voice of reason on more occasions than one... an important member of our dysfunctional little family. I always looked forward to seeing her when we played the Aladdin in Portland. She never complained and was always a joy."

"I was just informed of the passing of Signe Anderson, the same day as we lost Paul," bassist Casady wrote on Facebook. "Signe was our, Jefferson Airplane's, first female singer. I had been in touch with Signe this past week as she had moved from her home to hospice care. She was a real sweetheart with a terrific contralto voice coming from a solid folk background. Listen to how she made the three part harmonies of JA Takes Off (first album) sound so thick...her wonderful tone between Paul's and Marty's. A sad day... for those of us still here."


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