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This angel-voiced songstress was one of the most heartfelt soul singers of the 1970s, injecting her work with a sincerity that guaranteed you felt her emotion, whether it was the sexy "Inside My Love" or the determination of "Reasons."
Oddly enough, she began her career with the psychedelic outfit Rotary Connection, who are best known for "I Am the Black Gold of the Sun," later remade by Nuyorican Soul. After she left the group, she landed a spot in Stevie Wonder's backing singers Wonderlove. He was taken with her presence and helped secure a solo deal with Epic.
Her debut was Perfect Angel, which was an accurate description of her demeanor. It became a popular hit largely thanks to "Loving You," one of the most sensual ballads ever.
Adventures in Paradise was funkier thanks to the assistance of the Crusaders, who were moonlighting in between their own records. "Inside My Love" was even more explicit than "Loving You," yet her vocal abilities made you forget you were listening to some very serious sex talk.
Tragically, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1977, and after serving as a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society, she died in 1979.
Minnie Riperton's Deepest Grooves
Rotary Connection (Cadet, 1967)
Songs (with Rotary Connection) (Cadet, 1969)
To My Garden (Janus, 1969)
Hey Love (with Rotary Connection) (Cadet, 1971)
Angel (Epic, 1974)
in Paradise (Epic, 1975)
Stay In Love (Epic, 1976)
Gold: Best Of (Capitol, 1990s)
Chess Years (Chess, 1997)
Soul (EMI Japan, 1999)
Anthology (Right Stuff, 2001)
Copyright ©2001 B. Graff. All rights reserved.