Minnie Riperton

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Minnie Julia Riperton [ ˈɹɪpɚtn̩ ] (born  November 8, 1947 in Chicago , Illinois , † July 12, 1979 in Los Angeles , California ) was an American soul singer . She was best known for the fact that she could achieve notes in the whistle register with her voice and imitate bird calls and instruments. Her biggest hit was the title Lovin 'You (1975).


Childhood and youth

Minnie Riperton was born the youngest of eight children. Her family was very musical, which brought Riperton into contact with music and art at an early age. Riperton was taught ballet and dance from early childhood . She completed a classical vocal training under Marion Jefferys at the Lincoln Center in Chicago and considered a career as an opera singer. After graduating from high school, she enrolled in Loop College, but left after three weeks.

First steps

Minnie Riperton made her first recordings for Chess Records when she was 15 . The Gems pianist Raynard Miner had heard them as a member of Hyde Park's A Cappella Choir and saw the opportunity to help his moderately successful band break through. He founded the trio Studio Three with Minnie Riperton . The Gems succeeded in 1964 with the Four Tops - cover I Can not Help Myself a local hit; Just a year later the group released their last recording, He makes me feel so good . After that, the formation around Riperton used several pseudonyms in order to continue to publish records. Of these, The Starlets with My Baby's Real and Baby I Want You from The Girls Three should be mentioned in particular . The last recording with Riperton was in 1968 with Watered Down .

Andrea Davis

As a member of the Studio Three formation , Minnie Riperton met her mentor, producer Billy Davis. This wrote her first local radio hit Lonely Girl and the follow-up single You Gave Me Soul . To pay his respects, Riperton published these songs under the pseudonym Andrea Davis. She later used her real name.

Rotary Connection

A few months after publishing as Andrea Davis, Riperton joined the Rotary Connection group , a formation led by Marshall Chess, son of Chess Records founder Leonard Chess . Other members were Judy Hauff, Sidney Barnes and Charles Stepney. The group released their debut album in 1967 . Aladdin (1968), Peace (a Christmas album), Songs and Dinner Music (1970) were the successors. Riperton met her future husband and producer Richard Rudolph at this time.

Lovin 'you

In 1973, a representative from Epic Records found a demo version of the song Seeing You This Way , which he played to Don Ellis, Epic's A&R manager at the time . When he was able to locate Riperton, now a mother of two, in Gainesville , Florida , a contract was negotiated with Epic and the family moved to Los Angeles . Minnie's second LP Perfect Angel was produced by Stevie Wonder , with whom she once worked as a background singer on the song It Ain't No Use and on the now often-covered Creepin ' as a soloist alongside Wonder. Sales of Perfect Angel were slow at first. Epic was already about to start work on the next album when co-producer Rudolph suggested trying a fourth release with Lovin 'You after the singles Reasons , Take a Little Trip and Seeing You This Way . The single rose to number 2 on the charts in Great Britain . In 1974 the title climbed to the top of the American chart. The album Perfect Angel was awarded gold and Riperton was now known as "the lady with the high voice" ( Eng. "The lady with the high voice").

Further career progression

Adventures in Paradise , recorded in close collaboration with her husband Richard Rudolph and pianist Joe Sample from the Crusaders, could not build on the success of Perfect Angel with the exception of the top 5 single Inside My Love . Their popularity began to be limited to those interested in R&B . Riperton's attorney Mike Rosenfeld looked around for new labels for his client and negotiated a contract with Capitol Records . This included, among other things, that the albums previously published by Epic switched completely to Capitol. The third album Stay in Love could be released on Capitol Records. The most famous song on this LP is another collaboration with Stevie Wonder , the disco title Stick Together . In 1979 Ripertons last album was released with the simple title Minnie . This also features a song with Stevie Wonder, Lover & Friend , for which Wonder recorded the complete rhythm track. Riperton's last appearance before her death was on July 6, 1979, on the Merv Griffin Show , where she sang Memory Lane .

Family life

Minnie Riperton was married to the songwriter and music producer Richard Rudolph from 1972 until her death in 1979. The two had two children: Marc Rudolph and actress Maya Rudolph .

Sickness and death

Minnie Riperton's grave in Westwood Memorial Park .

In 1976 Riperton let it be known on TV that she had breast cancer . She continued her tour even though her cancer seemed to be getting worse. In 1979, Riperton was admitted to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles , where she died at her husband's side at the age of 31.

Posthumous publications

After Riperton's death, the album Love Lives Forever was released with posthumously recorded duets and collaborations, including with Peabo Bryson and Michael Jackson . Riperton's last single Give Me Time - Riperton's last recording ever - was released in 1980. Richard Rudolph, her husband and producer, later recorded the song Now That I Have You with Teena Marie for their album Lady T. , which was originally intended for his wife's fifth LP. Capitol Records released The Best of Minnie Riperton in 1982 .


Studio albums

year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1970 Come to my garden - US160 (4 weeks)
First published: November 1970
1974 Perfect Angel UK33 (3 weeks)

(47 weeks)US
First published: August 1974
1975 Adventures in Paradise - US18 (23 weeks)
First published: May 1975
1977 Stay in love - US71 (10 weeks)
First published: February 1977
1979 Minnie - US29 (27 weeks)
First published: May 1979
1980 Love Lives Forever - US35 (15 weeks)
First published: October 1980

more publishments

  • 1981: The Best of
  • 1993: Capitol Gold: The Best of
  • 1997: Her Chess Years
  • 2001: Petals: The Collection
  • 2001: Les Fleurs: Anthology


year Title
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, album , rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1975 Lovin 'You
Perfect Angel

(10 weeks)UK

(18 weeks)US
First published: January 1975
Inside My Love
Adventures in Paradise
- US76 (4 weeks)
First published: July 1975

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Robert E. Johnson: Minnie's Family Faces the Future With Her Dreams . In: Johnson Publishing Company (Ed.): Jet . 56, No. 255, September 6, 1979, ISSN  0021-5996 , pp. 53-54.
  2. a b Chart sources: UK US
  3. Music Sales Awards: UK US