BREAKING: Ruby Wilson, The Legendary Queen of Beale Street, Dies At 68

BREAKING: Ruby Wilson, The Legendary Queen of Beale Street, Dies At 68

Ruby Wilson has passed away at the age of 68.

The Queen of Beale Street and the kindest soul that you could ever meet has passed away. Her presence will be greatly missed and her rich vocals will always be treasured by Memphians especially and blues lovers alike.


Wilson was born in Texas and was the youngest of five siblings. Although her mom only allowed her to listen to Gospel music, she’d listen to Blues music with her Dad. At the age of 15, Wilson went on tour with Gospel Singer Shirley Caesar and met her first husband, a Gospel Entertainer, and was married at the age of 16. Wilson lived in Chicago for a while and later moved back to Texas where she made a name for herself in a local nightclub and earned up to $20 a night singing Jazz music.

While touring, Wilson met and befriended B.B. King, Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas and many other great performers that led her to Memphis where she remained for quite some time. Her singing career, however, took her to places all over the United States and afforded her the opportunity to meet Princess Diana and sing for President Clinton, Queen Elizabeth of England, and so many more.


Wilson’s vocals would command your attention and raise you to your feet every time. She had an amazing gift of singing and captivating her audience. Eventually her talent for knowing how to woo a crowd would take her into an even greater direction. Not only did Wilson sing in night clubs, presidential suites, and on royal stages, she even made to the Big Screen. In the 80’s, Wilson decided to give acting a shot, and relocated to LA for a few years. It proved to be a great move and Wilson was featured in over 10 major films and starred alongside actors, Morgan Freeman, Sissy Spacek, and Samuel L. Jackson, to name a few.


In 2009, Wilson suffered a stroke and the journey to recovery was tedious and trying but her strength carried her through. After recovering, Wilson found a new passion for helping others who had also suffered from strokes and she became an official Ambassador for the American Stroke Association.

As time went on, she continued acting and singing in Memphis. Wilson could be seen at local events, restaurants, and annual Blues festivals, singing or just enjoying the people of Memphis. Her face was often seen on a local commercial and everyone knew her famous line…

Ruby Sings The Blues So You Don’t Have To…

On August 12, 2016, Ruby Wilson transitioned at 1:10 p.m., according to her Facebook Page. She had suffered a recent heart attack a few days prior.


Wilson received numerous accolades, awards, and tributes in her lifetime. She truly left a mark on Beale Street and in the hearts of many across the nation. She had a beautiful spirit and it lives on through her music–and on Beale Street!

U.S. Senator, Steve Cohen, issued a statement, “I am saddened by the death of my friend Ruby Wilson. Ruby was a sweetheart of a human being. She was always smiling, upbeat and caring for others in addition to being a fabulous talent who sang of, for and about Memphis. She had a phenomenal life. Ruby brought joy to people’s hearts all over the world and was a legend in her hometown. She was truly the queen of the Blues, Beale Street and Memphis.”


Ruby Wilson is a legend and will be missed but she will always be remembered for knowing how to LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!

Performed In 2015 Near Beale Street

Funeral arrangements have not been made at this time. Please keep her four children, Shallisa Alexander, Stacey Ragston, Keith Moseley, and Kenneth Moseley; her sister, Hattie Davis; brothers, Earnest Wilson, Charles Wilson, Ocie Wilson Jr. and Herman Wilson; as well as her grandchildren (12), and great-grandchildren (5) in your hearts and prayers.


Leave a comment sharing your fondest memories of Ruby Wilson!


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One Comment
  1. She was the best lady with so much soul we ever met. She called us her purple babies.

    This is a beautiful article. There is so much history on her. She was truly a jewel and a great singer.

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