October 8, 2015 / 6:10 AM / 4 years ago

Frank Zappa's widow, Gail Zappa, dead at age 70

Gail Zappa poses during a photocall for the movie "Summer 82: When Zappa came to Sicily", directed by Salvo Cuccia, during the 70th Venice Film Festival in Venice, in this file picture taken August 30, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Gail Zappa, the widow of rock music legend Frank Zappa, died on Wednesday in Los Angeles, her family said. She was 70 years old.

The family did not reveal the cause of death, but said she died at her home surrounded by her children, Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva.

Born Adelaide Gail Sloatman, she married Frank Zappa at the age of 22. After his death in 1993, she dedicated herself to preserving her husband’s legacy and released numerous unheard recordings from rehearsals and live shows.

“Gail was a doe-eyed, barefooted trailblazer, giving equal value to her domestic and professional responsibilities as matriarch of the family and overseer of all Zappa enterprises,” her family said in a statement.

In running business operations for the Zappa Family Trust, she became an admired advocate for musicians’ rights.

“Gail passionately advocated to establish clear definitions of intellectual property and copyright laws on behalf of not just her husband, but all artists,” the statement said.

According to music magazine Rolling Stone, Gail Zappa released nearly 40 albums after her husband’s death. The latest, “Dance Me This”, marked the 100th record of the celebrated guitarist and songwriter, who died at the age of 52.

Editing by Victoria Cavaliere and Stephen Coates

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