(November 14, 1959 – January 2, 1993)
Born Valerie Eileen Hall in Chicago, Illinois, Wellington trained as an opera singer, graduating from the American Conservatory of Music. In 1982, she took up singing the blues in local Chicago clubs. Her work extended to the theater, where she undertook roles portraying earlier blues singers such as Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith. Wellington's opera training enabled her to project her voice to theater audiences. She appeared at the 1984 San Francisco Blues Festival, on the bill alongside Marcia Ball and Katie Webster. Her recorded work blended the more traditional vaudeville approach with a contemporary Chicago blues format. Wellington appeared on a limited number of recordings, but her voice was used on several advertisements on both television and radio. Wellington's recording of "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On" was used on the soundtrack to the 1989 film, Great Balls of Fire!, in which she briefly appeared depicting Big Maybelle. In the same year, Wellington toured Japan, with Carlos Johnson. Wellington died of a cerebral aneurysm in Maywood, Illinois at the age of 33.