Black History Month: Celebrating Those Who Came Before Us
Minnie Riperton (1947 - 1979)
Minnie Riperton’s five-octave vocal range made her one of soul music’s most unforgettable voices. She perfected the technique of singing in the whistle register, the highest the human voice is capable of reaching, for which such artists as Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande are celebrated today. The whistling can be heard on her biggest hit, Lovin’ You. The ballad, co-produced by Stevie Wonder, was an ode to her daughter, comedian and actress, Maya Rudolph. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, she became a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society and was awarded the Society Courage Award by President Jimmy Carter. She died in 1979 at the age of 31.
February 19, 2021
Source: O The Oprah Magazine, January 2021, AllMusic