Singer Vesta Williams’ Death Brings Enlarged Heart To Light

vesta-williamsVesta Williams, the 80’s diva known for her powerful voice, was found dead in her California hotel room in September 2011. Though news sources have reported the singer was 48 years old, Williams can be seen in a 2010 interview saying she was 53.

Williams scored a big hit with “Congratulations,” a song about a woman who is distraught upon learning that her former lover is getting married. “Congratulations,” with its vocal acrobatics and dramatic story, became a talent show staple.

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In the 1990s, Williams made headlines for her dramatic weight loss. She told Ebony that she started to rapidly gain weight when her singing career began to falter. Williams, who was 5-foot-3, eventually reached a size 26. She said her size was the reason she lost her recording contract.

“When I lost my record deal and my phone wasn’t ringing, I realized that I had to reassess who Vesta was and figure out what was going wrong,” she said. “I knew it wasn’t my singing ability. So it had to be that I was expendable because I didn’t have the right look.”

The singer went on to lose 100 lbs, and got down down to a size 6, while finding something of a second career as a songwriter and session singer. In recent years, Williams had become an advocate for the prevention of childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes.

Family friend and singer Norwood Young confirmed with the family that she passed away due to complications of an enlarged heart.

Young went on to say, “Although it’s a sad situation overall, we learn from Vesta’s death. Vesta did indeed die from an enlarged heart. As we know, an enlarged heart can remain undetected in the body for many, many years.”

This prompted her friends and family to check the status of their health. An enlarged heart can be caused by conditions that cause your heart to pump harder than usual or that damage your heart muscle. Sometimes the heart enlarges and becomes weak for unknown reasons (idiopathic).A heart condition you’re born with (congenital), damage from a heart attack or an abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia) can cause your heart to enlarge. Other conditions associated with an enlarged heart include: