Our creator deemed us worthy, as he bestowed on us an angelic five-octave voice…belonging to one renowned as “MINNIE”.

 

 

 

 





Minnie Riperton was born in Chicago on November 8, 1947.  As a youth she studied music, drama and dance at Chicago’s Lincoln Center, and which also included a career in opera.

 

Minnie’s pop music career began in 1961 when she joined a local girl’s group called “THE GEMS”.  The group soon garnered a recording deal with the famed record label called, “Chess Records”.  They released a handful of singles, and also managed to lend their backing vocals to other such notable Chess Records   acts, which included FONTELLA BASS, THE DELLS and ETTA JAMES.

 

After Minnie finished high school she found a job working as a receptionist for Chess Records.  Since “THE GEMS” had officially dissolved she soon found herself signed to the label as a solo act where she released the single, entitled, "Lonely Girl," under the alias of Andrea Davis.

 

In 1968, Minnie became the lead vocalist for the psychedelic soul band known as “THE ROTARY CONNECTION”.  “THE ROTARY CONNECTION” debuted that year with a self-titled LP on Cadet Concepts.  A couple of singles from the album entitled, "Amen" and "Lady Jane" found a home on underground FM radio.

 

Minnie decided to mount a solo career, where she found herself teamed with producer/arranger CHARLES STEPNEY (one of the founding members of the group EARTH, WIND & FIRE), and her husband/composer Richard Rudolph.

In 1970, Minnie issued her first brilliant debut album entitled, “Come to My Garden”, but again commercial success eluded her.

 

In 1971 after “THE ROTARY CONNECTION” released the album entitled, “HEY LOVE” the group dissolved. After a two-year sabbatical in Florida, Minnie and Rudolph decided that they would relocate to Los Angeles.  Minnie found work with the legendary Stevie Wonder, who afforded her the opportunity to sing on his “Fulfillingness' First Finale”.   She then toured as a member of his back-up group called, “WONDERLOVE”.

 

In 1974, Stevie Wonder agreed to co-produce Minnie Riperton's album entitled, “ Perfect Angel”.  The album contained the international hit single, entitled,  Lovin' You”.  With This album, Minnie found the success, which had eluded her.  And she also became to realize that she had in fact become a household name in the process.

 

In 1975, Minnie released the album entitled, “Adventures in Paradise”.

 

In 1976, Minnie was diagnosed with breast cancer, and later she became the official spokesperson for the American Cancer Society.  This earned her a Society Courage Award, which was presented by President Jimmy Carter. 

 

In 1977, she released the album entitled, “Stay In Love”, and continued performing despite her declining condition.

 

In 1979, Minnie released her final album, which was simply self-entitled, “Minnie”.  This album included the smash hit single, entitled, “Memory Lane.”

 

She died in Los Angeles on July 12 of that same year at the age of 31.

 

 





 

 





MINNIE RIPERTON LINKS













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