Bobby McFerrin

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About Bobby McFerrin

Bobby McFerrin’s parents were both opera singers, and his father was the first African American male to sing leading roles at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. ∙ His unmistakable vocal technique, encompassed by a four-octave range, combines elements of scat singing, polyphonic singing, and improvisational vocal percussion. ∙ Before recording his debut album, McFerrin avoided listening to other singers for two years, because he didn’t want to be influenced by their styles. ∙ McFerrin’s The Voice, released in 1994, was the first-ever solo jazz album recorded with no overdubbing or accompanying musicians. ∙ His global hit, 1988’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” won two Grammy Awards and was the first a cappella song to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts. ∙ McFerrin won 10 Grammy awards and scored 18 nominations for his career-spanning work as a jazz and pop vocalist and classical arranger. ∙ In 1989, McFerrin wrote and performed the score for the Academy Award-winning documentary Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt, about the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. ∙ At age 40, he began a new career as a conductor, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra named him its creative chair in 1994.

New York, NY, United States of America
March 11, 1950

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