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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, Rovi
full bio

Comments

bgail_1
at least give us the option of a thumbs down on crap spam...
Spam posts should be deleted.
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
Just the way I want to be love ����
This is good music. The best . I love it.
Hey I deejayed in bkln and this was my sound checkl song in the 80s it was a mind blowing experience good memories for music and us and you the people
Somebody please create the life stories. Of these soul artist and good clean credit for they have contributed a lot of good music with bands and without that has a great impact on our lives mostly love what a way to pay tribute to the greats
A EWF Songbird. 14y 1m
I thought she had the prettiest voice. Her and Mariah Carey....old Mariah not new Mariah.
Love it lets here it for Deniece Willamas
japorter24
I love it!
Lets hear it 4 the boy
A very beautiful song
A true pioneer of her era. A wonderful artist with a tremendous voice.
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
Love Black Butterfly!! It takes me to a whole other land soaring high!
Jeeze my love life from beginning to end
My Girl! My Song! True Music!
One of the real singers in the industry.
Just a great person who I met long ago at Purdue
Let's not waste ectasy....ca u s e I won't be here for a while. Sound like she just wanted a hit and run with him!
OH Snap!!! Pandora is jamming Free....this is still my JAM from back in the day!!!
my fav cuase u love me baby
First childhood crush, little kiss, or holding her bike while she swings at the playground. This stuff last forever in music thoughts! Good music!
What can I say!!, shes from the CHICAGO. Orale!
Gonna take a miracle....l o v e this song ...=)
What a wonderful song and one that can only be sung the proper way by Deniece.
Sweet
This is one is
loved Her since I was little Girl
DENIECE IS AWESOME!!! SHE'S SO BLESSED!! GREAT VOICES MAKE GREAT MUSIC!!!
I love this song! No1 can sing this better, I tried but I failed lol. Denice you ROCK!
Oh I didn't know this was on footloose.
Old School! Still can remember steppin' to her.... shoot! I'm still steppin'! What you say!
One of my favorite songs i can dance n listen to every day
When me and my first love broke up and I sang this song a lot. Music helps you overcome a broken heart.
Foot loose . Good movie . Great soundtrack.
Nice song. I actually saw her play live at the Detroit State Fairgrounds in 1984 or so. Saw the Fifth Dimension there about ten years prior. Saw Al Green at the Fresno State Fair in 1999. Soul singers and state fairs. A match made in heaven!
I love old skool music !!!!!!
I have nothing but the fondest memories of all her hits! Her songs always bring a hug smile and a warm heart ! Just like music is supposed to do!
Gifted!
arthurhadley
deneice Williams is the truth
Love..oh love.. Stop making a fool of me..
Beautiful song
MMMMMellow!
The Songbird.... t h e sweetest voice of our time!
When I was a little girl I use to grab the brush and sing sometimes with no brush just sing the heck out of this and yea I knew what the song was about lol but I wasn't in love with anyone just this dang song
This one, killed my heart and birthed it at the same time. I really love her.
Very, very good job with this one.
Way Back When !!!
i was big fan Denice Williams. Sheis number UNO, in my book!!!!!!!
tharris92
Love this song Deniece, no one else can sing this song like you.You are one of the best!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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