Barry White – American singer
Barry White was an American rhythm and blues singer. The peak of his popularity was in the middle of 70s. During White’s career in the music business, 106 of his albums became gold, 41 of them received platinum status. 20 singles became gold, 10 – platinum, their sales exceeded 100 million copies. He is one of the best-selling performers of all time. Barry was a winner of two Grammy Awards. His music was influenced by Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley.
Barry Eugene Carter (his real name) was born on September 12, 1944 in Galveston. The adult life of White began in a very original way: at the age of 15 he was sentenced to prison for 4 months for stealing Cadillac tires. At the same time, Barry early began to show interest in music. He learned to play the piano, and also sang in a children’s church choir (the usual beginning of a career for most American soul and jazz performers). At school, he formed a group called The Upfronts. Their first release was a song called Little Girl in 1960, released immediately after White’s return from prison.
In the mid-1960s, White produced and wrote songs for the performers of Bronco and Mustang labels, was the arranger of Viola Wills and Felis Taylor.
In 1969, he still worked for Mustang, where he met Diane Parsons and sisters Linda and Gloden James, who became soloists of White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra, and Glodin became White’s wife on July 4, 1974. Barry became the producer of three performers and helped them to sign a contract with UNI Records, where they recorded the successful first single Walkin’ In The Rain With The One You Love. In March 1972, the single was sold out in a million copies.
The following year, Barry and Love Unlimited signed a contract with 20th Century Records and their first single I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby took 3rd place in the R&B chart and 3rd in the Pop chart, and also became gold. And in 1974, White, along with Love Unlimited, recorded the instrumental composition Love’s Theme, which took 1st place. According to many researchers of disco-style in music, Love’s Theme was the first classical composition, written in the disco style and had gained immense popularity. The composition also took 10th place in the R&B chart.
During the seventies, White created beautiful examples of light orchestrated music and deep disco-soul compositions, such as Never Never Gonna Give You Up, Cannot Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe, You’re The First , The Last, My Everything (later used in the advertising of Jacobs Monarch coffee), It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me, Playing Your Game, Baby and Your Sweetness Is My Weakness.
In 1979, he signed a contract with CBS / Columbia Records and founded his own Unlimited Gold label. The fall of the disco popularity led to a decline in the career of White. In 1987, he returned with the album The Right Night and Barry White, the single Sho’ You Right took 17th place in the R&B chart.
A successful return was secured in 1989 with an explosive composition The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite). In 1991, the next album Put Me In Your Mix was released. In 1994, the album The Icon Is Love won the 1st place on the R&B chart. In December 1999, White released the autobiographical book Love Unlimited.
Barry White died on July 4, 2003 in Los Angeles. His last words were: “Leave me alone, I’m fine”. His body was cremated, and the ashes were scattered off the coast of California.
On September 20, 2004 White was posthumously inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame.