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Minnie Riperton

The tragic 1979 death of 31-year-old Minnie Riperton silenced one of soul music's most unique and unforgettable voices -- blessed with an angelic five-octave vocal range, she scored her greatest commercial success with the chart-topping pop ballad "Lovin' You." Riperton was born in Chicago on November 8, 1947; as a youth she studied music, drama, and dance at the city's Lincoln Center and later contemplated a career in opera. Her pop career began in 1961 when she joined the local girl group called the Gems, signing to the famed Chess label to release a handful of singles as well as lend backing vocals to acts including Fontella Bass, the Dells, and Etta James. After graduating high school, Riperton went to work at Chess as a receptionist; following the Gems' dissolution, she also signed with the label as a solo act, releasing a single, "Lonely Girl," under the alias Andrea Davis.

In 1968, Riperton was installed as the lead vocalist of the psychedelic soul band the Rotary Connection, which debuted that year with a self-titled LP on Cadet Concepts; the singles "Amen" and "Lady Jane" found a home on underground FM radio, but the group failed to make much of an impression on mainstream outlets. While still a member of the Connection, Riperton mounted a solo career; teaming with producer/arranger Charles Stepney and her husband/composer Richard Rudolph, she issued her brilliant debut, Come to My Garden, in 1970, but again commercial success eluded her grasp. After the Rotary Connection dissolved in the wake of 1971's Hey Love, she and Rudolph took a two-year sabbatical in Florida before relocating to Los Angeles, where she sang on Stevie Wonder's Fulfillingness' First Finale and toured as a member of his backing unit Wonderlove.

Wonder agreed to co-produce Riperton's 1974 album Perfect Angel, which contained the international blockbuster "Lovin' You"; the record made her a household name, although subsequent LPs like 1975's Adventures in Paradise and 1977's Stay in Love failed to repeat its success. By this time, however, commercial woes were the least of Riperton's concerns -- diagnosed with breast cancer, she underwent a mastectomy in 1976, later becoming a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society and earning a Society Courage Award from then-President Jimmy Carter. Riperton continued performing despite her declining condition, with 1979's Minnie the final record completed during her lifetime -- she died in L.A. on July 12 of that year. Unreleased vocal tracks with new instrumental backing comprised 1980's posthumous collection Love Lives Forever. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Comments

It's amazing to hear someone such as Minnie Riperton hit all kinds of notes... It's pretty rare for a singer to reach a high note and control each range... Beautiful and talented... Love her RIP #BreastCance r A w a r e n e s s #Support
I was in high school when Minnie passed away. Me and my friends were devastated to lose this voice of purity. No one can sing like her. Her vocal range was incredible! She could also hold notes over a minute. I miss her so much. RIP Minnie.
Her voice and different vocal range gives me chills. She is amazing.
This was a very great voice during my college days.The voice helped me put it all together. Thanks Minnie ,
Back down Memory Lane my favorite just as Minnie was my Favorite!
THANK U MS. MINNIE FOR THE MUSIC YOU MADE OVER THE YEARS R..IP SMILE..
What a beautiful voice.
Luv this song....
Back Down Memory Lane always make me cry because I remember the day Minnie died even though I was young for some reason her death effected me.
papajoe0613
She is comfort to me!!
R.I.P MINNIE I LOVE YOUR MUSIC AND I ENJOYED WATCHING MAYA ON SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE AND DIFFERENT MOVIES YOUR CHILDREN ARE BEAUITFUL PEOPLES THANK U THEM YOU ARE THE PREFECT ANGEL IN THEIR LIVES NOW.. YOUR GRANDBABY LOOK LIKE YOU SMILE..
This song is so deep! Heavy rotation on my iPhone... Love Minnie Riperton!!!
denisecopela n d 0 2 2 9
I've always loved Minnie from the time I was a little girl her voice is like hearing angels
Beautiful!
Memory Lane...... Love this song
Beautiful voice,my quiet storm at night.
Her daughter, Maya Rudolph, has fared well as a comedianne and actor.
R.I.P LOVE YOU
Uno!!!
selahprayz
Listened to radio nitely
Woke to Loving You and sang with Minnie. Loved her and still do. I'm a breast cancer survivor so her death at a young age is bittersweet. So sorry we lost such an angel but I'm so blessed to have overcome cancer. Just realized Minnie called Mayas name @ end Of songs.
I first heard her in 1974. She captured my imagination. And she is just awesome. U go girl.
Don't read this because it actually works.You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of you life.Tomorro w will be the best day of your life.However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days.Now you've started reading it so dont stop.This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes.When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters.This is so scary because it actually works
beautiful baby and voice
Minnie I love you. She has always been my favorite female vocalist. I truly believe she will sing lead in the heavenly choir. I only hope to have a front row seat.
Beautiful Voice!!! She is what we are missing in music today.
I remember it like yesterday when I heard she died...she truly had the voice of an angel....
Minnie Riperton voice is ultimate. In a league of her own.
This is music.
michaelluv65
What a voice, man what a voice!!
I love u minnie riperton
Let it play and make love to your woman
Wow
Minnie Riperton is true the epitome of an epic angelic voice! Timeless and heaven sent!!!
Beautiful Song!
Anu Ray, you are a true poet. Minnie is proud. so am I. peace. Fred.
One of Gods Greats Ladys to ever sing.The true voice of an Angel The Good Lord Took Her Home So That She Could sing For Heaven.
Minnie at her best!
Here We Go.....Final l y the original by the Songbird herself!! ♥
The burning
hot flames
consume the listeners-
warming us up
intensely,
even moving some of
us
back from the heat
but eventually we
all
huddle closer
than every before,
the dancing
light
showing us
our common
love...
And then suddenly
it's gone
a bright flash of heat
and awareness,
and we're
left with only
echo's of light, hints of
warmth, and oppressive
silence, and
flickering shadows
to remember
the
Queen.
Beautiful Songbird! R.I.P. Minnie Riperton!
deedee_gnzls
loved her music
Seeiing Minnie n live n Chicago one of the best highs of my life
Minnie voice is beautiful!! One of a kind!! Lov u!!
k.alexis84
Love Minnie...com i n g from a 28 year young 'old head.'
Even as a teen back in the day I recognized this great talent,Insid e my Love,and Back down memory lane were my favs no other voice can compare listening today at my 52yr.mark still gives me that chilling sensation, Luv U Minnie
Two Strangers, not Strangers, Only Lacking the Knowing.... Inside My Love has the most powerful lyrics of all time. I think everyone meeting that special person for the first time, should have this song as their theme. Trina Broussard and Chante Moore came close, but Minnie was the original for this one. Takes me back to my days on The Hill and FAMU.
Her voice just flows over each note...wow
Her voice is timeless
Luv Minnie..
Freakin loveeee this song!!!! Real music, she was a beautiful talent!!!
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