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Minnie Riperton

The tragic 1979 death of 31-year-old Minnie Riperton 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 Lincoln Center and later contemplated a career in opera. Her pop career began in 1961 when she joined the 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
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: The Best Of Minnie Riperton

1. Perfect Angel

2. Lover And Friend

3. Memory Lane

4. Woman Of Heart And Mind

5. Lovin' You

6. Young Willing And Able

7. You Feel What I'm Saying

8. Stick Together

9. Wouldn't Matter Where You Are

10. Stay In Love

11. Inside My Love

12. Here We Go

13. Give Me Time

14. You Take My Breath Away

15. Adventures In Paradise

16. Simple Things

17. Light My Fire

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Track List: Perfect Angel

1. Reasons

2. It's So Nice (To See Old Friends)

3. Take A Little Trip

4. Seeing You This Way

5. The Edge Of A Dream

6. Perfect Angel

7. Every Time He Comes Around

8. Lovin' You

9. Our Lives

x

Track List: Come To My Garden

1. Les Fleur

2. Completeness

3. Come To My Garden

4. Memory Band

5. Rainy Day In Centerville

6. Close Your Eyes And Remeber

7. Oh, By The Way

8. Expecting

9. Only When I'm Dreaming

10. Whenever, Wherever

x

Track List: Les Fleurs: The Minnie Riperton Anthology

2. Reasons

3. Every Time He Comes Around

4. Young Willing And Able

5. Inside My Love

6. Memory Lane

7. Love Hurts

8. Here We Go

9. You Take My Breath Away

10. Strange Affair

11. Take A Little Trip

12. I'm A Woman

13. Lovin' You

15. Light My Fire

Comments

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The truly hall of fame.r.i.p. Minnie riperton...
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jessypooh24
RIP MINNIE!!!
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Loving you <3
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How do others don't think about relax there mind with out listen to music like this?... So please get your mind right.. And enjoy it it only comes once in a lifetime... Swerve.. It's real..
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Loved her deeply when I had an opportunity to meet her at a concert in NEW ORLEANS. And I continue to miss her since her passing. Such a warm melodic voice.
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I'm 29 years of age love her. She has the ability to capture you in to the song.
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My dad met her she has amazing personality and she's soooooo amazing
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rachel ferrell
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There are no song birds except Mariah and Chantel like Minnie today. I still remember when she died it still sticks with me today.
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love her voice...no other like her's
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Sweet
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gone too soon miss you
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I love love love her voice gives me chills
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Most incredible voice ever. Flawless
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cathyrobinso n 7 3 8
Can you just imagine the sound of heaven?sing on!
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Still and will always miss her. She proves there is a god in heaven.
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I love this song it's so pretty and unique
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My fav part is the colors that u bring Spend each day in the spring time
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She is still a Perfect Angel.
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I understand that ms ripertone died when she was 31yrs old u serpent u know who u are I am an artist and I am sensitive bout my s**t so forget it!
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Tremendous voice
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Such a beautiful voice
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The best singer that ever walked the face of this earth. I can only imagine what heaven sounds like since she entered the gates...
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I love her and her talented daughter Maya Rudolph!!
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Ms. Minnie Riperton birthday was yesterday she would been 68 years old Happy birthday to you
God brought you home to give you your wings.
From heaven you still song bird love you and your family. Smile.,
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Man I wish I could met her person
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Miss music like this. Forever a fan.
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Heard her early music then loved her in the Rotary connection. Followed her to the end, truly missed, much love Minnie.
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Alway love to hear her voice. God blessed us withe her presence. Thank you Minnie.
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Wonderful singer. I didnt knw she died of breast cancer. Love her music to this day..
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Always a great listen.:-)
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GOAT, Nuff Respect
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srviva03
I've always loved this song. I never knew that she died from breast cancer.
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Love this song
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One of the most beautiful voices ever...... With a vocal range that was beyond compare.
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Pure genius
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Most beautiful singing in the world and so much talent miss her so much
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Nice
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Sweet
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Love it.
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Yes! She is a great singer and that voice hit the highest NOTES! Do I need to tell you all- she from the "CHI"! The city the produces it all. Chicago is that city ............ . . . . . .
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i did not know that she says 'maya maya' at the end of this song...so touching :-)
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She left too soon. I love u sweet angel
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Takes me back to when music was a true talent...not like the lousy stuff that is put out today.
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One of the best to come out of chi no doubt the best FEMALE VOCALIST!!
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Love, love, love Minnie Ripperton! Gone way too soon! R.I.P.
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I love Minnie, she rip thus my heart the first time I her lovely voice.
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i was a big fan of minnie riperton
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SIP Perfect Angle
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One of my favorite songs! !
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