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Minnie Riperton

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Bio

The tragic death of 31-year-old Minnie Riperton in 1971 silenced one of soul music's most unique and unforgettable voices. Blessed with an angelic five-octave vocal range, she scored her greatest commercial success with the chart-topping pop ballad "Lovin' You." Riperton was born in Chicago on November 8, 1947; as a youth she studied music, drama, and dance at the city's Abraham Lincoln Center and later contemplated a career in opera. Her pop career began in 1961 when she joined a local girl group called the Gems, signing to the famed Chess label to release a handful of singles as well as lend backing vocals to acts including Fontella Bass, the Dells, and Etta James. After graduating high school, Riperton went to work at Chess as a receptionist; following the Gems' dissolution, she also signed with the label as a solo act, releasing a single, "Lonely Girl," under the alias Andrea Davis. In 1968, Riperton was installed as the lead vocalist of the psychedelic soul band the Rotary Connection, which debuted that year with a self-titled LP on Cadet Concepts; the singles "Amen" and "Lady Jane" found a home on underground FM radio, but the group failed to make much of an impression on mainstream outlets. While still a member of the Connection, Riperton mounted a solo career; teaming with producer/arranger Charles Stepney and her husband/composer Richard Rudolph, she issued her brilliant debut, Come to My Garden, in 1970, but again commercial success eluded her grasp. After the Rotary Connection dissolved in the wake of 1971's Hey Love, she and Rudolph took a two-year sabbatical in Florida before relocating to Los Angeles, where she sang on Stevie Wonder's Fulfillingness' First Finale and toured as a member of his backing unit Wonderlove. Wonder agreed to co-produce Riperton's 1974 album, Perfect Angel, which contained the international blockbuster "Lovin' You." The record made her a household name, although subsequent LPs like 1975's Adventures in Paradise and 1977's Stay in Love failed to repeat its success. By this time, however, commercial woes were the least of Riperton's concerns. Diagnosed with breast cancer, she underwent a mastectomy in 1976, later becoming a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society and earning a Society Courage Award from then-President Jimmy Carter. Riperton continued performing despite her declining condition, with 1979's Minnie the final record completed during her lifetime. She died in L.A. on July 12 of that year. Unreleased vocal tracks with new instrumental backing comprised 1980's posthumous collection Love Lives Forever. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Albums by
Minnie Riperton

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    10 songs

    On Air

    The Fabulous Minnie Riperton

    10 songs

    On Air

    The Greatest Voices of All: Minnie Riperton

    10 songs

    On Air

    Only When I'm Dreaming

    9 songs

    On Air

    Oh By The Way

    7 songs

    On Air

    Love Lives Forever

    9 songs

    On Air

    Come to My Garden

    10 songs

    On Air

    Adventures in Paradise

    8 songs

    On Air

    Minnie

    9 songs

    On Air

    Stay in Love

    10 songs

    On Air

    Legends

    15 songs

    On Air

    Les Fleurs: The Minnie Riperton Anthology

    19 songs

    On Air

    Perfect Angel/Adventures in Paradise

    17 songs

    On Air

    Stay in Love/Minnie

    17 songs

    On Air

    Capitol Gold: The Best of Minnie Riperton

    10 songs

    On Air

    Timeless Jazz: Minnie Ripperton

    9 songs

    On Air

    Timeless Pop: Minnie Ripperton

    1 song

    On Air

    Come to My Garden

    10 songs

    On Air

    Come to My Garden [Castle]

    10 songs

    On Air

    Come to My Garden [Aim]

    10 songs

    On Air

    Come To My Garden/Aus

    10 songs

    On Air

    Adventures in Paradise

    17 songs

    On Air

    Stay in Love

    9 songs

    On Air

    Perfect Angel

    8 songs

    On Air

    Minnie

See All Albums

Top Songs by
Minnie Riperton

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Lovin' You
  3.   Inside My Love
  4.   Memory Lane
  5.   Reasons
  6.   Want You to Know
  7.   Les Fleurs
  8.   Here We Go
  9.   Give Me Time
  10.   Our Lives
  11.   Strange Affair
  12.   The Burning of the Midnight Lamp
  13.   Only When I'm Dreaming
  14.   Stormy Monday
  15.   Alone in Brewster Bay
  16.   Minnie's Lament
  17.   Light My Fire by José Feliciano
  18.   Return to Forever
  19.   Dancin and Actin Crazy
  20.   Rainy Day in Centerville
  21.   Baby, This Love I Have
  22.   Lover and Friend
  23.   Gettin' Ready for Your Love
  24.   Expecting
  25.   Completeness
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Minnie Riperton

    On Air

    Classic Soul

    On Air

    Smooth Jams

    On Air

    My Parents' Record Collection

    On Air

    Chicano Old School

    On Air

    Amy Winehouse: DNA

    On Air

    Old School R&B

    On Air

    '70s Hits

    On Air

    '70s Deep Dive


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