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Died On This Date (July 12, 1979) Minnie Riperton / R&B Great

Posted by themusicsover on July 12, 2010

Minnie Riperton
November 8, 1947 – July 12, 1979

Minnie Riperton was the five-octave voice behind one of soul music’s greatest ballads, “Loving You.”   After studying music as a child, Riperton began her career while still in high school when she joined a Chicago group, the Gems, who then signed to Chess and released a few records.  At around this time, Riperton was also singing back up on recordings by the likes of Etta James and Fontella Bass.  After graduating, Riperton got a job as a receptionist at Chess who subsequently signed her to a solo contract, but under the name, Andrea Davis.   Later fronting a soul band called the Rotary Connection, Riperton met her future husband, composer Richard Rudolph.  They would later have a daughter, Maya Rudolph, a future actress and cast member of Saturday Night Live.  After a few years fronting Rotary Connection, Riperton and Rudolph took some time off and later moved to Los Angeles where they hooked up with Stevie Wonder who co-produced Riperton’s breakthrough album, 1974’s Perfect Angel which included the world wide smash hit, “Loving You.”   But within two years, Riperton was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy which couldn’t stop the spread of the disease.  Even with her health failing, Riperton continued to work up until recording what would be her final album, 1979’s Minnie.  She died of cancer later that year at the age of 31.

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Perfect Angel - Minnie Riperton

2 Responses to “Died On This Date (July 12, 1979) Minnie Riperton / R&B Great”

  1. karen said

    dear dear minnie,
    today we honor your memory
    your voice forever young and fresh in our minds,ears, and hearts.

    may heaven for you be always musical, may you and all who have passed before you and those who have followed enjoy your beautiful sound…. and perhaps the band of angels that one day comes after all of us… to bring us home… include you with your sweet soulful sound….

    thank-you for the time we spent…. you were gone too soon… but God must have needed you more…

    karen frances

  2. Ricky said

    Did anyone notice that Minnie Riperton died on the same day that Disco Demolition Night happened?

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