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Deniece Williams

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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
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Albums by
Deniece Williams

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    11 songs

    On Air

    Niecy (Expanded)

    11 songs

    On Air

    I'm So Proud

    14 songs

    On Air

    Let's Hear It for the Boy

    10 songs

    On Air

    My Melody

    13 songs

    On Air

    When Love Comes Calling

    10 songs

    On Air

    Love, Niecy Style

    10 songs

    On Air

    When Love Comes Calling

    10 songs

    On Air

    As Good as It Gets

    10 songs

    On Air

    Water Under the Bridge

    12 songs

    On Air

    Hot on the Trail

    10 songs

    On Air

    Let's Hear It for the Boy

    8 songs

    On Air

    My Melody

    7 songs

    On Air

    This Is Niecy

    8 songs

    On Air

    Song Bird

    1 song

    On Air

    The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)

    14 songs

    On Air

    Love Songs

    16 songs

    On Air

    Gonna Take a Miracle: The Best of Deniece Williams

    14 songs

    On Air

    That's What Friends Are For [Bonus Tracks]

    8 songs

    On Air

    This Is Niecy

    8 songs

    On Air

    My Melody

    10 songs

    On Air

    This Is Niecy [Bonus Tracks]

    10 songs

    On Air

    That's What Friends Are For

    10 songs

    On Air

    This Is My Song

    10 songs

    On Air

    Love Solves It All

See All Albums

Top Songs by
Deniece Williams

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Let's Hear It for the Boy
  3.   Silly
  4.   Free
  5.   It's Gonna Take a Miracle
  6.   Too Much, Too Little, Too Late
  7.   Black Butterfly
  8.   I Found Love
  9.   I'm So Proud
  10.   Waiting
  11.   Baby Baby My Love's All For You
  12.   Do What You Feel
  13.   I've Got the Next Dance
  14.   That's What Friends Are For
  15.   Do You Hear What I Hear?
  16.   Cause You Love Me, Baby
  17.   Don't Blame It on My Heart
  18.   Are You Thinking?
  19.   Waiting by the Hotline
  20.   God Is Amazing
  21.   I Confess
  22.   It's Okay
  23.   I'm Glad It's You
  24.   Dreamland
  25.   Glory to Glory to Glory
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Deniece Williams

    On Air

    Slacker 20: '80s Teen Movies

    On Air

    Euphoric Hits

    On Air

    Smooth Jams

    On Air

    '80s #1 Hits

    On Air

    Classic Soul

    On Air

    His & Hers Radio

    On Air

    A Very Soulful Christmas

    On Air

    Disco Deep Dive

    On Air

    '80s Hits

    On Air

    Adult R&B

    On Air

    Soft Hits

    On Air

    Chicano Old School

    On Air

    All-Time Hits

    On Air

    Old School R&B


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