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    From prison, Bill Cosby pays tribute to jazz vocalist Nancy Wilson

    The incarcerated Bill Cosby paid tribute to a contemporary, the late jazz vocalist Nancy Wilson, on his Twitter account.
    Matt Slocum/Associated Press/File 2018
    The incarcerated Bill Cosby paid tribute to a contemporary, the late jazz vocalist Nancy Wilson, on his Twitter account.

    Disgraced comedian Bill Cosby, currently incarcerated in Pennsylvania for sexual assault, on Friday paid tribute to jazz vocalist Nancy Wilson, who died earlier this week at the age of 81.

    “ ‘A gift of a voice to sing lyrics so we could feel each and every word; and to express the wrongs of human rights violations,’ ” said a message posted to Cosby’s official Twitter account. “ ‘Thank you, Nancy!’ states Mr. & Mrs. Cosby and The Cosby Family #BillCosby #YourVoiceLivesForever #FarFromFinished.”

    Wilson’s many albums included a collaboration with saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, She won a Grammy in 1965 for best R&B performance, and later won Grammys for best jazz vocal album in 2005 for “R.S.V.P (Rare Songs, Very Personal)” and in 2007 for “Turned to Blue.”

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    Wilson also appeared in film and television and hosted the “Jazz Profiles” series on NPR.

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    Meanwhile, Cosby, 81, is serving a three- to 10-year state prison sentence for sexually assaulting a woman in his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004.

    He also faces civil litigation in Massachusetts brought by multiple women who allege he sexually assaulted them and branded them as liars when they went public with their claims. Cosby and his wife own a home in Shelburne Falls.

    Dozens of women have come forward in recent years to accuse the once-beloved entertainer of drugging, raping, and sexually assaulting them in encounters that spanned decades. Cosby has consistently denied the allegations lodged in criminal and civil courts, as well as in the press.

    He was sent to prison in September and hadn’t tweeted since August, when he marked the passing of soul legend Aretha Franklin.

    Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.