Barry White

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About Barry White

The rich bass-baritone of Barry White and plush romance of The Love Unlimited Orchestra fooled many into believing his rise was preordained. But at birth (Galveston, Texas in 1944) and as he grew up in South Central Los Angeles, Barry Carter's destiny was no certain thing. He joined a gang, got sent to jail at 16 for stealing Cadillac tires, and upon release began planning a more stable life in music. There were years of behind-the-scenes producing and songwriting for West Coast vocal groups and soul acts. In 1973, he founded the Love Unlimited Orchestra, and really, only then was Barry White born. After forming the orchestra, whose 40-piece texture and luxurious strings suggested an abundance available to all, he attached his own voice to 1973's I've Got So Much to Give. Disco was becoming a pop force, and something about the mellow powerhouse was perfect for its flamboyant air of make-believe. You could dance to "Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" (1974) and "It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next to Me" (1977), but White also suited a more languorous mood. For audiences, he was an unlikely star who fed endless fantasies about what could happen if you only dreamed it so. The '90s were an extended victory lap, with cameo appearances and more hits, and though White died in 2003 at 58, the universal understanding that he was one of music's gods of love endures.

Galveston, TX, United States
September 12, 1944

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