Donny Hathaway

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About Donny Hathaway

Donny Hathaway’s emotive croon and expansive, gospel-reared artistry sparked a sea change in ’70s soul music. Born in Chicago in 1945, the St. Louis-raised singer-songwriter was a child prodigy, honing his vocal and piano gifts in the church. His short-lived studies at Howard University prompted him to commit to a music career, emerging as a prolific collaborator for the likes of Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield, Jerry Butler, and Roberta Flack. During soul music’s progressive period in the early ’70s, Hathaway brought a gospel-charged blend of Chicago soul, jazz, and blues to the fore of his landmark 1970 debut, Everything Is Everything. He followed it with other seminal works like 1971’s cover-heavy Donny Hathaway, 1972’s Live, and his adventurous 1973 swan song, Extension of a Man, which testified to the full breadth of his talents as an interpreter and composer. While his 1979 death is among music’s most tragic losses, his rich artistry is felt across R&B and gospel today.

Chicago, IL, United States
October 1, 1945
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