Minnie was destined for a career in music. Having studied music, drama, and dance she became lead singer for the girl group, The Gems, and became closely associated with Chess Records where she sang BVs for artists including: Etta James, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, and Muddy Waters.
By 1974, she was producing solo albums and her career peaked in 1975 with her #1 single, Lovin’ You.
a sad loss
Just a year after the release of Lovin’ You, Minnie was diagnosed with breast cancer. An emergency mastectomy was in vain and she was diagnosed terminal and given six months to live. Minnie continued to tour and used her fame to raise the public awareness of breast cancer.
In 1977, she became a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society and in 1978, received the American Cancer Society’s Courage Award.
At no stage did she tell the public of her terminal condition. She died at age 31 on July 12, 1979.
something you didn’t know
The birdsong heard in Lovin’ You is actually Minnie “singing.” Minnie had a coloratura soprano vocal range. Able to sing incredibly high, Minnie is remembered for her ability to sing in the whistle register, in which she sounds almost like an instrument.
According to Wiki:
The whistle register (also called the flageolet or flute register or whistle tone) is the highest register of the human voice, lying above the modal register and falsetto register. This register has a specific physiological production that is different from the other registers, and is so called because the timbre of the notes that are produced from this register are similar to that of a whistle.
Other whistle register singers include, Deniece Williams and Mariah Carey who is a huge fan of Minnie’s.
lovin’ you fax
- Lovin’ You was written by Minnie and her husband Richard Rudolph. It was produced by Stevie Wonder and Richard Rudolph.
- Recorded in late 1974 and released on January 13, 1975, Lovin’ You became the 400th No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 5, 1975. It peaked at #2 in the UK.
- Lovin’ You has not percussion instrument, quite a rarity at the time it was released although, other songs to also hit #1 without the aid of percussion include, Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce, and two Beatles songs, Yesterday and Eleanor Rigby.
- A number of cover versions have been released; the most notable by Leona Lewis when she was just 15.
- Lovin’ You lyrics.
lovin’ you – minnie riperton – 1975 – video
lovin’ you – minnie riperton – 1975 live video
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