Fans and family mourn 'jazz pioneer,' Detroit radio icon Rosetta Hines-Loving

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Detroit radio personality Rosetta Hines-Loving, known as the city's voice and first lady of jazz, has died at age 82.

"Her career was her life, she just loved music," said her son Mir Loving. "And more importantly, it was about her fans that she truly loved and connected with." 

Longtime Detroit radio personality Rosetta Hines-Loving died on Feb. 14 at age 82.

Best known for her work on WJZZ (105.9-FM), Hines-Loving, who passed away on Feb. 14, was called "an institution" and "a veteran" by local media even 40 years ago. A 1982 Detroit News article naming her the "Best Midday Host" in local radio described her as a "soft, solid professional."

"She sneaks up on you until you're hooked," wrote News staffer Jim McFarlin. 

"My heart is full of sadness and gratitude today," wrote Detroit jazz musician Kimmie Horne on Facebook. "The powerful stories of groundbreaking endeavors, passion for music and love for people will forever be in my heart."

Hines-Loving was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but her son says she was like a Motor City native. 

"Detroit was all she knew," Loving said. 

"(FOX 2 Detroit anchor) Huel Perkins said it best, her playlist was for the city of Detroit and her surrounding listeners. The testimonials from people that have reached out to me in regards to my mom as far as how she has touched their lives," Loving said, adding that he's heard from people who said Hines-Loving helped get their music careers started. 

"Marion Meadows actually had reached out to me and he had said my mom was responsible for his career getting off because she was like one of the first DJs that started playing his music ...  there are so many other artist that I've been told and heard about ... she was the jazz pioneer for the city of Detroit and artists that were trying to make it." 

"She had a great, warming heart and she connected with each and every one," Loving aid, adding that she was as warm with her family as she was with her fans and the artists she played. "She loved her family so very much, she loved me so very much." 

Detroit jazz radio DJ Rosetta Hines-Loving.

After graduating from Eastern High, Hines-Loving got her start in radio as an engineer at WGPR (107.5 FM) and later moved on to WJZZ where she worked throughout the 1970s. She also had a jazz program on WDET (101.9 FM) and was on-air at WJLB (97.9 FM) in the 1980s. In the 1990s was listed as music director back at WJZZ.

Hines-Loving is survived by her son Mir Loving, his wife Shelia Loving and three grandchildren: Dontavious Loving, Mariah Loving and Chantea Martin. The family is planning to have a small, private service.

Twitter: @melodybaeten