Deniece Williams

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About Deniece Williams

Over the course of her rich and varied career, singer Deniece Willams has backed up Stevie Wonder, scored a pair of No. 1 pop hits (including the indelible “Let’s Hear It for the Boy”), and released Grammy-winning gospel records. • The daughter of two singers, Williams grew up singing gospel in a Pentecostal church in Gary, Indiana. While studying at Morgan State in Baltimore, she began performing in nightclubs, and in the late 1960s, she started recording soul singles under the name Deniece Chandler. • She auditioned for Stevie Wonder and became a member of his Wonderlove backing trio for several years, appearing on classic albums like Talking Book (1972) and Songs in the Key of Life (1976). • Williams left Wonderlove to pursue a solo career and released her first solo album, This Is Niecy, on Columbia Records in 1976. The album went Top 5 on Billboard’s R&B chart. • In 1978, she teamed up with legendary romantic singer Johnny Mathis for “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1982, Williams and Mathis reconnected for “Without Us,” the theme song from the sitcom Family Ties. • She topped the Hot 100 for a second time in 1984 with “Let’s Hear it for the Boy,” featured on the soundtrack for the film Footloose. • Williams then returned to her roots in the church, releasing her first gospel studio album, So Glad I Know, in 1986. She won Grammys for the tracks “I Surrender All” and “They Say.” • In 1999, her album This Is My Song won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Pop Gospel Album.

Gary, IN, United States
June 3, 1951

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