About Minnie Riperton
Known for her five-octave vocal range and angelic whisper register, which can be heard on the chart-topping 1975 classic “Lovin’ You,” R&B singer-songwriter Minnie Riperton released a wealth of great music prior to her untimely death in 1979.
• The Chicago native spent her early years taking ballet and modern dance lessons before receiving operatic vocal training.
• As a teenager, Riperton began singing with The Gems, a vocal group signed with the legendary blues label Chess Records. The Gems provided backup vocals for the likes of Chuck Berry, Fontella Bass, and Etta James.
• In 1966, Riperton became the lead vocalist for Rotary Connection, a rock-soul group founded by Marshall Chess, son of Chess Records founder Leonard Chess.They released five albums prior to splitting up in 1970.
• In 1970, the singer released her solo debut album Come to My Garden.
• Produced by Stevie Wonder, her 1974 album Perfect Angel topped the US R&B chart and peaked at No. 4 on the pop albums chart. The LP features Riperton’s signature hit, “Lovin’ You,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and hit No. 2 in the UK.
• Riperton’s third album, 1975’s Adventures in Paradise, hit the Top 20 on the pop albums chart.
• The singer frequently collaborated with Stevie Wonder, providing background vocals on 1974's Fulfillingness' First Finale and 1976's Songs in the Key of Life. They also duetted on Riperton’s 1977 album Stay in Love.
• In 1979, Riperton died from cancer at age 31. She left behind two children, one of whom grew up to be famous comedic actor Maya Rudolph.
• Organized by Riperton’s widower, Richard Rudolph, the 1980 posthumous album Love Lives Forever features guests like Peabo Bryson, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder.
BORNNovember 8, 1947