About Donny Hathaway
In his tragically short life, legendary soul singer and songwriter Donny Hathaway left behind a wealth of great music. His two biggest pop hits—“Where Is the Love” and “The Closer I Get to You”—were collaborations with Roberta Flack.
• Born in Chicago and raised in St. Louis, Hathaway began singing at his grandmother’s church when he was three.
• The singer’s piano skills earned him a scholarship to study music at Howard University. There, he met singer and future duet partner Roberta Flack.
• In the late ’60s, Hathaway worked as a producer and arranger for artists like Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin, and The Staple Singers.
• In 1970, Hathway released his debut album, Everything Is Everything, featuring hits like “The Ghetto, Pt. 1” and a cover of Nina Simone’s “To Be Young, Gifted and Black.”
• That same year, the singer released “This Christmas,” which has since become a modern holiday standard. Christina Aguilera, Chris Brown, Stevie Wonder, and Mary J. Blige are among the artists who’ve recorded cover versions.
• The singer’s 1971 eponymous sophomore album features his acclaimed cover of Leon Russell's “A Song for You.”
• The following year brought the collaborative album Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway. The single “Where Is the Love” cracked the Top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100.
• In 1972, Hathaway recorded the theme song for TV series Maude and composed music for the film Come Back Charleston Blue.
• Hathaway and Flack scored a No. 2 pop hit in 1978 with “The Closer I Get to You,” off Roberta’s album Blue Lights in the Basement.
• After struggles with depression and schizophrenia, Hathaway was found dead of an apparent suicide in January 1979. He was 33.
• In 1980, Flack released Roberta Flack Featuring Donny Hathaway, which includes vocals Hathaway recorded prior to his death.
BORNOctober 1, 1945