Minnie Riperton

Minnie Riperton
Minnie Riperton 1977.jpg
Riperton in 1977
Background information
Birth nameMinnie Julia Riperton[1][2][3]
Born(1947-11-08)November 8, 1947
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedJuly 12, 1979(1979-07-12) (aged 31)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)Singer–songwriter
InstrumentsVocals
Years active1962–1979
Labels
Associated acts

Minnie Julia Riperton-Rudolph[4] (November 8, 1947 – July 12, 1979),[4][5][6] known professionally as Minnie Riperton, was an American singer-songwriter best known for her 1975 single "Lovin' You" and her five-octave coloratura soprano.[7] She is also widely known for her use of the whistle register and has been referred to by the media as the "Queen of the whistle register". Born in 1947, Riperton grew up in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side. As a child, she studied music, drama and dance at Chicago's Lincoln Center. In her teen years, she sang lead vocals for the Chicago-based girl group the Gems. Her early affiliation with the legendary Chicago-based Chess Records afforded her the opportunity to sing backup for various established artists such as Etta James, Fontella Bass, Ramsey Lewis, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. While at Chess, Riperton also sang lead for the experimental rock/soul group Rotary Connection, from 1967 to 1971.

On April 5, 1975, Riperton reached the apex of her career with her No. 1 single "Lovin' You". The single was the last release from her 1974 gold album titled Perfect Angel. In January 1976, Riperton was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a radical mastectomy.[5] By the time of diagnosis, the cancer had metastasized and she was given about six months to live. Despite the grim prognosis, she continued recording and touring. She was one of the first celebrities to go public with her breast cancer diagnosis but did not disclose she was terminally ill. In 1977, she became a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society. In 1978, she received the American Cancer Society's Courage Award, which was presented to her at the White House by President Jimmy Carter. Riperton died of cancer on July 12, 1979 at age 31.

Early life

Riperton was born in Chicago, the daughter of Thelma Inez (née Matthews) (1911–2005) and Salleh Riperton (1899–1991), a Pullman porter.[8][9] The youngest of eight children in a musical family, she embraced the arts early. Although she began with ballet and modern dance, her parents recognized her vocal and musical abilities and encouraged her to pursue music and voice. At Chicago's Lincoln Center, she received operatic vocal training from Marion Jeffery. She practiced breathing and phrasing, with particular emphasis on diction. Jeffery also trained Riperton to use her full range. While studying under Jeffery, she sang operettas and show tunes, in preparation for a career in opera. Jeffery was so convinced of her pupil's abilities that she strongly pushed her to further study the classics at Chicago's Junior Lyric Opera. The young Riperton was, however, becoming interested in soul, rhythm and blues, and rock. After graduating from Hyde Park High School (now Hyde Park Academy High School), she enrolled at Loop College and became a member of Zeta Phi Beta sorority. She dropped out of college to pursue her music career.

Other Languages
čeština: Minnie Riperton
Ελληνικά: Μίνι Ράιπερτον
español: Minnie Riperton
français: Minnie Riperton
한국어: 미니 리퍼턴
italiano: Minnie Riperton
Nederlands: Minnie Riperton
português: Minnie Riperton
Simple English: Minnie Riperton