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Aaron Neville's wife dies of lung cancer


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Aaron Neville's wife dies of lung cancer

By JOE EDWARDS, Associated Press

January 7, 2007

NASHVILLE - Joel Roux-Neville, the wife of R&B singing legend Aaron Neville, died Friday after a long battle with lung cancer. She was 66.

Roux-Neville was first diagnosed with the disease in 2004 and was given three months to live. She died at the couple's home south of Nashville surrounded by family members, her husband's spokesman, Jerry Digney, said Friday evening.

The high school sweethearts would have celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary Wednesday, Digney said in a news release.

While Roux-Neville never performed with her husband's family, she was a fixture in the New Orleans music scene for decades, Digney said. She often was offstage at his performances, especially the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Aaron Neville had returned home shortly before Christmas to be with his wife following a nationwide concert tour.

The couple moved to the Nashville area in 2005 shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated their hometown of New Orleans.

Aaron Neville had said in an interview last September that his wife had faced her illness with a remarkable will to live.

"She's strong," he told The Associated Press. "She's even been going shopping."

A visitation at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in New Orleans was scheduled for Friday. The funeral will be Saturday, WDSU-TV in New Orleans reported.

Survivors besides her husband include four children, her mother, a sister and two brothers, all of New Orleans.

Aaron Neville, a member of the R&B family The Neville Brothers, has sung pop, blues, soul, gospel, jazz and country. Few in recorded music history have performed a more diverse repertoire.

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