Singer and New Orleans native Merry Clayton is gradually returning to public view after being injured in a 2014 car accident.
Clayton recently spoke to The New York Times in her first interview since the accident, which happened just months after “20 Feet from Stardom,” featuring Clayton and other backup singers, won an Academy Award.
“Oh my God, I was at the pinnacle – I was at the top of my game,” she said in the Times. “I was overwhelmed at what had transpired with the film and then to just go out for a moment and in that moment your life is changed.”
Clayton lost both of her legs as a result of the accident, the Times reported. She has been undergoing “intense therapy” in Los Angeles since being released from the hospital.
Born in 1948, Clayton lived in Gert Town before her family’s move to Los Angeles when she was 8. She is perhaps best known for her contribution to the Rolling Stones classic “Gimme Shelter.” Her gospel spirit and sound also lifted recordings by Aretha Franklin, Carole King, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Ringo Starr and many more.