Merry Clayton, a veteran backup singer who has worked with such music icons as Ray Charles, Carole King and the Rolling Stones, was seriously injured in a car crash, according to a statement on her website.
Clayton, perhaps best known for her fiery vocals on the Stones' Gimme Shelter, "sustained severe injuries to her lower body, including major trauma to her lower extremities" in a June 16 accident in Los Angeles, according to the statement.
The singer "has a long road of recovery ahead," the statement noted. "For all that know her personally, and those that have been blessed by her God-given talents, please know that her spirit is very strong and her faith unwavering. Her voice is not silenced and His praises continue to be on her lips."
Clayton, whose story was featured in the documentary film 20 Feet From Stardom, began her career in the early '60s and has also recorded with Bobby Darin, Neil Young, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Joe Cocker and the Who, and as a solo artist.