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Deniece Williams

Deniece Williams grew up singing in a Pentecostal church, which was strict on the congregation listening only to gospel music. During the late '60s, she was a candy striper in a Chicago hospital. Outside of wanting a 1959 Thunderbird, she had no serious ambitions. Nontheless, she still had interest in listening to music. Her favorites were Carmen McRae for her diction and Nancy Wilson, who, for Williams, exemplified class and elegance. However, her mother, also a singer, was her idol. The Gary, IN, native was also fond of Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, Minnie Riperton, and Patti LaBelle. (The latter two she tried to emulate before her introduction into the music industry.)

In need of employment and with college on the back burner, the fledgling singer was introduced to Wonder by John Harris, her cousin from Detroit, who happened to be on tour as a valet for Wonder (and was also his childhood friend). Her cousin arranged for Williams to meet Wonder backstage at a concert. Six months later, the gifted vocalist was flown into Detroit by Wonder for an audition. Among the 26 who auditioned, Williams, who sang "Teach Me Tonight," was only one of three who was hired by Wonder. The three became known as Wonderlove.

Williams being hired by Wonder was a big surprise. Soon after the audition, she toured with Wonder, who was the opening act for the Rolling Stones at the time. Her touring with Wonder lasted for several years. Though her stint with Wonder was a great experience and opportunity, it was also difficult considering Williams had to make many adjustments professionally and personally (she had two sons prior to taking the gig: one 4 months old, the other 18 months).

Williams left Wonderlove in 1975 and teamed up with producer Maurice White, the leader of Earth, Wind & Fire. Under White's direction, Williams learned the business of music and was able to unwind and express herself musically. Under the Columbia banner, Williams released her first album entitled This Is Niecey. It featured the Billboard R&B number two single "Free," which also sealed the Top 25 on the pop charts. The song was personal to Williams, who felt restricted while with Wonderlove. The album also featured "Cause You Love Me Baby" and "That's What Friends Are For."

In 1977 the album Song Bird was released, and it featured the number 13 single "Baby, Baby My Love's All for You." The following year the dynamic singer scored her first number one song on both the R&B and pop charts with "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late," which was a duet with the legendary Johnny Mathis. The follow-up single, "You're All Need to Get By," was also recorded with Mathis and it was a Top Ten single.

Still under White's tutelage, Williams moved over to White's American Recording Company (ARC) and stumbled a few times with several releases before scoring the smash hit "Silly." Written by Williams and produced by famed producer Thom Bell, she sang this song from her own personal experience as well. The single became a Top Ten gem. In 1982 Bell returned the sweet songstress to number one with the single "It's Gonna Take a Miracle."

Always writing from her own experience, Williams wrote the Top Ten single "Do What You Feel" based on the ordeals of someone else. (A believer in the song at the time, she no longer employs those beliefs.) In 1984 Williams recorded the number one hit "Let's Hear It for the Boy." Featured on the Footloose soundtrack, the single was produced by music virtuoso George Duke, who initially thought the song was too pop-ish and would not work. However, Duke's production savvy proved to be as paramount as Williams' vocals.

In 1984 the sensational singer recorded "Black Butterfly." From a African-American perspective, Williams immediately bonded with the song. The song would become a prelude to the uplifting gospel material Williams would record a few years later. With her label, Columbia, uninterested, Williams released the gospel album From the Beginning on Sparrow Records. The album featured the Grammy Award-winning single "They Say." The same year she also won a Grammy for "I Surrender" and another for "I Believe in You" in 1987. ~ Craig Lytle
full bio

Comments

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Got be me,just have love me I accept you as is ,be free lover.
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WOW this song exemplifies my I-haven't-he a r d - t h i s - s o n g - i n - s o - l o n g moment...31 years, to be exact.
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I always love her as a artist, as black women our life has been full of heartache and pain, from our men and children's . God please hear our voices, we need you real bad !!!!!! Help please
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Devotion 50 love the music
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Brilliant!!! !
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gillagkc
I LOVE Denise Williams --true love songs...song s of the heart.....Si l l y . . . b a c k in the day and oh so many memories....
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I loved listening to ur music growing up as a child I Truly Adore your voice Denise
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How I love you......... . P a y a s o , Te amo mucho. Always and forever.
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LOVE, What more can I say
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Sing it this song girl yes!!!!!
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lalycanales2
Love this song!!
It takes me back to the good old days..��
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gillagkc
Love this song...Its Gonna take a miracle...Lo v e songs what R&B is missing...th i s song is true to the heart...I can feel it...miss her in R&B but her gospel songs are as beautiful as well....
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SUPER BEAUTIFUL SUPER TALENTED ONE OF MY VERY FAVORITE FEMALE VOCALISTS
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OLDSCHOOL AT IT'S FINEST
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I love this song.
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wisdomcounts 3
Yes!
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Love this song 1 of my favorites ��
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Oh luv.....oh luv stop making a fool of me
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Wow! What a talent!
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Those 7th grade puppy love jams !
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agarcia-acos t a
Her voice is incredible!
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Silly... one of my favorite from Deniece Williams... Love this song ♥♡♥♡♥♡♥♡♥♡♥♡
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Sing it Sister!
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agentartwork 7 3 7 3
Best song ever
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vceleste1969
Good memories!
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Takes me back to a great place.
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Good singer
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Luv her voice, very beautiful
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Got engaged while this was playing....t o this day I think about him when I hear this song...
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Free is such a BEAUTIFUL SONG
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Take me away...
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Sing it girl.....mmm m m
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agentartwork 7 3 7 3
I don't know why but I <3 this song
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This sounds great in my 75monte...80 5 !
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Homey from GI! Up there with the best of them.
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This Song is for a very Special Person!!
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FOOTLOOSE... LOVE IT!!
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Silly of me to think that I can have you as my guy ...
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www.genesis4 2 1 . c o m
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Free ..... Lol free again
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It's going to take a miracle.. badass jam ♥Denise Williams♥
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..have always and will always love this song. Thank you Denise!
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Love this song *FREE *yes this is the s**t ♥
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Hi
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I don't know u but,you have a pretty smile.
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HELLO MY PANDORA FAMILY I AM BACK LOVE U ALL SMILE.....
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jtthomas3007 0
Best song ever
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Love me some Niece, she has the voice of an angel, a pleasure to listen to
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Her music makes me happy ! Plus she' my cuz
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I actually like her she sings great
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