Warwick died Saturday at a nursing home in Essex County, said Kevin Sasaki, a family spokesman. She had been in failing health in recent months, he said, and her sister was with her when she died.
Warwick had several hits on the soul and R&B charts in the 1960s and 70s, including "Foolish Fool," "She Didn't Know (She Kept on Talking)" and a version of "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" that was later covered by Diana Ross and The Supremes.
Warwick also was a two-time Grammy Award nominee and sang backup for Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and others before starting her solo career.
Warwick was the niece of gospel singer Cissy Houston and a cousin of Whitney Houston.
Born in Newark, Warwick was a teenager when she began singing with her older sister in the late 1950s. The two performed as The Gospelaires and also collaborated and sang with the Drinkard Singers, a long-running gospel group that also featured some of the Warwicks' aunts and uncles and was managed by their mother.
Most recently, Warwick provided background vocals for her sister's recent one-woman autobiographical show, "My Music & Me," which played to sold-out crowds in Europe this year. She also performed on the title song from Dionne Warwick's gospel album, Why We Sing, released January 2008.