The face and voice of an angel belonged to the untouchable Minnie Riperton. Best known for her ballad “Lovin’ You” in 1975 it was evident that extensive vocal training in her younger years paid off when she discovered a hidden gem; her 5 octave range.
Born in Chicago in 1947, Minnie Riperton had a prowess for the arts as she studied ballet and modern dance, but all the while her passion laid in singing. At the age of 19, she signed her first recording contract with the Gems. In 1967, she sang with the Rotary Connection; an experimental Rock band. Riperton’s musical catalogue also includes singing back up for several industry heavyweights including Quincy Jones, Etta James, Ray Charles, and Aretha Franklin.
Born to lead, Riperton became a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society in 1976, following her bout with breast cancer. Before succumbing to the disease in 1979, she put a face to the disease, prompting awareness and hope.—Tiffany L. Reeves
Check out the classic Soul Train tribute to Minnie Riperton today at 12 PM EST only on Centric