Remembering the Soul legend Barry White who was born on this day in 1944

With songs such as “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” he sold over 100 million records worldwide throughout his rich career

Remembering the Soul legend Barry White who was born on this day in 1944

Barry White was the owner of one of music’s most distinctive vocals, with his romantic rich and warm bass-baritone voice. The singer, songwriter and producer, was born on September 12, 1944 in Galveston, Texas. Brought up in a rough environment, by the age 16 he already had fathered two children, and at that same very age, was jailed for four months for stealing $30,000 worth of Cadillac tires. His short-term criminal trail ended exactly when he was in prison during that period, while listening to Elvis Presley singing “It’s Now or Never” on the radio, an experience he later credited with changing the course of his life. During the 1960’s White begun his professional music career, mainly as a producer or songwriter, and influenced by Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, The Supremes, The Four Tops, and Marvin Gaye. it wasn’t up until the 1970’s that he grabbed the mic himself and launched his solo career as a singer. His very successful career produced soul, funk, and disco classics such as “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” and “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe”. Overall he achieved 106 gold albums worldwide, 41 of which also attained platinum status with worldwide record sales in excess of 100 million records, that also earned him three Grammy awards, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. His career also extended to acting, and as a fan of The Simpsons show, he appeared as himself in a few episodes of the animated series; most memorably in the episode “Whacking Day”, Bart and Lisa used his famous deep bass singing voice, played through loudspeakers placed on the ground, to lull and attract snakes.. Barry White’s final album, 1999’s Staying Power, resulted in his last hit song “Staying Power. In 2003, hospitalized while undergoing dialysis and awaiting a kidney transplant due to chronic diabetes and high blood pressure, Barry White passed away at age 58.

Look back at Barry White performing “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” in 1974 at Soul Train

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