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About Ray Parker Jr.
Ray Parker Jr. is best known for his Grammy-winning theme song to 1984’s Ghostbusters. But the singer, musician, and producer has a long history of working with some of the greatest soul artists of all time, including Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. • Born in Detroit during Motown’s peak, Parker began as a session guitarist for musician and producer Hamilton Bohannon's house band at Detroit’s famous 20 Grand nightclub. There, Parker played behind acts like Temptations, The Spinners, and Gladys Knight & the Pips. • At age 15, Parker met Marvin Gaye and cowrote songs with him. • In 1972, Stevie Wonder invited Parker to join his band on tour with The Rolling Stones. Parker also played guitar on two Wonder albums: 1972’s Talking Book and 1973’s Innervisions. • Parker wrote songs and worked as a session musician for the likes of Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Gladys Knight, Patti Labelle, The Temptations, The Supremes, The Carpenters, Boz Scaggs, Herbie Hancock, and David Foster. • In 1974, Parker wrote his first hit: Rufus and Chaka Khan’s “You Got the Love,” which peaked at No. 11 on the Hot 100. • Parker formed the R&B/funk band Raydio in 1977. Their self-titled debut album, featuring the hit “Jack and Jill,” arrived the following year. Raydio released three more albums before their split in 1981. • In 1982, Parker. released his debut solo album, The Other Woman, which topped the R&B chart and hit No. 11 on the Billboard 200. • Parker’s 1984 Ghostbusters theme song earned him a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. The song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song but lost to Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” from The Woman in Red. • Throughout the ’80s, Parker wrote and produced for New Edition (“Mr. Telephone Man”), Cheryl Lynn (“Shake It Up Tonight”), Diana Ross (“Up Front”), and Run-D.M.C. (Ghostbusters II’s “Ghostbusters”). • In 2006, Parker released I'm Free, his sixth album and first since 1991’s I Love You Like You Are.
- Detroit, MI, United States of America
- May 1, 1954