Barry White
Barry White, born Barry Eugene Carter (September 12, 1944 – ), was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

 and singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose and sing their own musical material including lyrics and melodies. As opposed to contemporary popular music singers who write their own songs, the term singer-songwriter describes a distinct form of artistry, closely associated with the...


A five-time Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

-winner known for his distinctive bass
Bass (voice type)
A bass is a type of male singing voice and possesses the lowest vocal range of all voice types. According to The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, a bass is typically classified as having a range extending from around the second E below middle C to the E above middle C...

 voice and romantic image, White's greatest success came in the 1970s as a solo singer and with the Love Unlimited Orchestra, crafting many enduring soul
Soul music
Soul music is a music genre originating in the United States combining elements of gospel music and rhythm and blues. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of...

, funk
Funk is a music genre that originated in the mid-late 1960s when African American musicians blended soul music, jazz and R&B into a rhythmic, danceable new form of music. Funk de-emphasizes melody and harmony and brings a strong rhythmic groove of electric bass and drums to the foreground...

, and disco
Disco is a genre of dance music. Disco acts charted high during the mid-1970s, and the genre's popularity peaked during the late 1970s. It had its roots in clubs that catered to African American, gay, psychedelic, and other communities in New York City and Philadelphia during the late 1960s and...

In music, a song is a composition for voice or voices, performed by singing.A song may be accompanied by musical instruments, or it may be unaccompanied, as in the case of a cappella songs...

s such as his two biggest hits, "You're the First, the Last, My Everything
You're the First, the Last, My Everything
"You're the First, the Last, My Everything" is a popular song recorded by Barry White. Written by White, Tony Sepe and Peter Radcliffe and produced by White, "You're the First, The Last, My Everything" was White's fourth top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, reaching #2; it spent a...

" and "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe
Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe
"Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" is a song written, recorded and produced by Barry White. Released as the first single from White's album Can't Get Enough in 1974, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 and U.S. R&B chart and has since become one of White's signature tunes. It was his second...


Worldwide, White had many gold and platinum
Music recording sales certification
Music recording sales certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped or sold a certain number of copies, where the threshold quantity varies by type and by nation or territory .Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories,...

 albums and singles, with combined sales of over 100 million, according to critics Ed Hogan and Wade Kergan.
His influences include southern soul
Southern soul
Southern soul is a type of soul music that emerged from the Southern United States. The music originated from a combination of styles, including blues , country, early rock and roll, and a strong gospel influence that emanated from the sounds of Southern African-American churches. The focus of the...

 artists like Isaac Hayes
Isaac Hayes
Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. was an American songwriter, musician, singer and actor. Hayes was one of the creative influences behind the southern soul music label Stax Records, where he served both as an in-house songwriter and as a record producer, teaming with his partner David Porter during the...

, Clarence Carter
Clarence Carter
Clarence Carter is a blind American soul singer and musician.-Life and career:Born in Montgomery, Alabama on 14 January 1936, Carter attended the Alabama School for the Blind in Talladega, Alabama, and Alabama State College in Montgomery, graduating in August 1960 with a Bachelor of Science degree...

, Ray Charles
Ray Charles
Ray Charles Robinson , known by his shortened stage name Ray Charles, was an American musician. He was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records...

, Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin
Aretha Louise Franklin is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Although known for her soul recordings and referred to as The Queen of Soul, Franklin is also adept at jazz, blues, R&B, gospel music, and rock. Rolling Stone magazine ranked her atop its list of The Greatest Singers of All...

 plus Motown artists The Supremes
The Supremes
The Supremes, an American female singing group, were the premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s.Originally founded as The Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, The Supremes' repertoire included doo-wop, pop, soul, Broadway show tunes, psychedelic soul, and disco...

, The Four Tops and Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye
Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. , better known by his stage name Marvin Gaye, was an American singer-songwriter and musician with a three-octave vocal range....

. Along with Isaac Hayes, White is considered by as the first singer who played disco music before the actual period of the late 1970s.

Early life

Barry White was born Barry Eugene Carter in Galveston, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Galveston is a coastal city located on Galveston Island in the U.S. state of Texas. , the city had a total population of 47,743 within an area of...

, and grew up in the high-crime areas of South Central Los Angeles. White was the elder of two brothers; his brother Darryl is 13 months younger. He grew up listening to his mother's classical music
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 collection, and first took to the piano emulating what he heard on the records. His introduction to music later led to him playing piano on Jesse Belvin
Jesse Belvin
Jesse Lorenzo Belvin was an American R&B singer, pianist and songwriter popular in the 1950s, whose success was cut short by his death in a car crash aged 27.-Career:...

's hit single, "Goodnight My Love."

White recalled that, "[As a child] I had a normal squeaky kid voice. Then as a teenager, that completely changed. My mother cried because she knew her baby boy had become a man."

Gang life and jail sentence

During his teenage years, White and his brother got involved with crime and gang activity. At age 17, he was jailed for four months for stealing $30,000 worth of Cadillac
Cadillac is an American luxury vehicle marque owned by General Motors . Cadillac vehicles are sold in over 50 countries and territories, but mostly in North America. Cadillac is currently the second oldest American automobile manufacturer behind fellow GM marque Buick and is among the oldest...


While in jail, White listened to Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

 singing "It's Now or Never
It's Now or Never (song)
"It's Now or Never" is a popular song recorded by Elvis Presley and published by Gladys Music, Elvis Presley's publishing company, in 1960. The melody of the song is adapted from the Italian standard, "'O Sole Mio", but the inspiration for it came from the song, "There's No Tomorrow", recorded by...

" on the radio, an experience he later credited with changing the course of his life.

Music career

After his release from jail, he left gang life and began a musical career at the dawn of the 1960s in singing groups before going out on his own in the middle of the decade.

The marginal success he had to that point was as a songwriter. His songs were recorded by rock singer Bobby Fuller
Bobby Fuller
Robert Gaston "Bobby" Fuller was an American rock singer, songwriter, and guitar player best known for his singles "I Fought the Law" and "Love's Made a Fool of You," recorded with his mid-1960s group, the Bobby Fuller Four....

 and TV bubblegum
Bubblegum pop
Bubblegum pop is a genre of pop music with an upbeat sound contrived and marketed to appeal to pre-teens and teenagers, produced in an assembly-line process, driven by producers, often using unknown singers.Bubblegum's classic period ran from 1967 to 1972...

 act The Banana Splits. He was also responsible in 1963 for arranging "Harlem Shuffle
Harlem Shuffle
Harlem Shuffle can refer to:* "Harlem Shuffle" * Harlem Shuffle...

" for Bob & Earl
Bob & Earl
Bob & Earl were an American soul music singing duo in the 1960s, best known for writing and recording the original version of "Harlem Shuffle".-Career:...

, which became a hit in the UK in 1969. He discovered disco artists, Viola Wills
Viola Wills
Viola Wills was an American pop singer, best known for the 1979 UK Singles Chart #8 and U.S. Hot Dance Club Play #52 hit, "Gonna Get Along Without You Now". Other hits included further covers of the songs, "Both Sides Now" , and "If You Could Read My Mind" Viola Wills (December 30,...

 and Felice Taylor
Felice Taylor
Felice Taylor is an African American singer best known for her recordings in the late 1960s.-Life and career:...

 in 1965 and signed them to Mustang/Bronco Records, for which he was working as A&R manager for Bob Keane.

The 70s as producer

In 1972, he got his big break producing a girl group
Girl group
A girl group is a popular music act featuring several young female singers who generally harmonise together.Girl groups emerged in the late 1950s as groups of young singers teamed up with behind-the-scenes songwriters and music producers to create hit singles, often featuring glossy production...

 he had discovered called Love Unlimited
Love Unlimited
Love Unlimited was a female vocal trio that provided backing vocals for American R&B/soul singer Barry White on his albums and concert tours. They also found success with their own recordings. Formed in 1969, the group included Barry White’s future wife, Glodean James, her sister, Linda James, and...

. Formed in imitative style of the Motown girl group The Supremes
The Supremes
The Supremes, an American female singing group, were the premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s.Originally founded as The Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, The Supremes' repertoire included doo-wop, pop, soul, Broadway show tunes, psychedelic soul, and disco...

, the group members had gradually honed their talents with White for two years previously until they signed contracts with Uni Records
Uni Records
Uni Records was a record label owned by MCA Inc. The brand, which long featured a distinct UNi logo, was established in 1966 by MCA executive Ned Tanen and developed by music industry veteran Russ Regan...

. His best friend, music industry businessman Larry Nunes, helped to finance their album. After it was recorded, Nunes took the recording to Russ Regan
Russ Regan
Russ Regan is a long-time record executive who was President of both UNI Records, and 20th Century Records. Regan also worked at Motown among other companies. He started with Berry Gordy at Motown and promoted many artists including Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes and Smokey Robinson...

, who was the head of the Uni
-Education:*uni, a shortened word for university*University Professors Program, an interdisciplinary program for gifted students at Boston University*University High School *University High School...

 label owned by MCA. The album, 1972's From A Girl's Point of View We Give to You... Love Unlimited became a million album seller.

White produced, wrote and arranged their classic soul ballad, "Walking In The Rain With The One I Love
Walking in the Rain with the One I Love
Walking in the Rain with the One I Love was an R&B single in 1972 for the soul trio Love Unlimited, a studio group created by singer/producer Barry White. The main vocalists were female singers Glodean James, her sister, Linda James, and their cousin Diane Taylor...

", which climbed to #14 in the Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

 Pop chart and #6 on the Billboard R&B chart in late 1972. This single also reached #12 in the UK chart. White's voice can clearly be heard debuting in this piece as he plays the lover who answers the phone call of the female lead.

Soon after, Regan left Uni for 20th Century Records
20th Century Records
20th Century Fox Records, also known as 20th Fox Records and 20th Century Records, was a subsidiary of film studio 20th Century Fox.-History:It began in 1958 as 20th Fox Records. In 1963, 20th Fox Records became 20th Century-Fox Records...

. Without Regan, White's relationship with Uni soured. With his relationship with Uni over and Love Unlimited contract-bound with the label, White was able to switch both his production deal and the group to 20th Century Records. (They recorded several other hits throughout the 1970s, including "I Belong To You
I Belong to You
I Belong to You may refer to:*"I Belong to You" , 1974*"I Belong to You" , 1991*"I Belong to You" , 1992*"I Belong to You" , 1993*"I Belong to You" , 1998...

," which spent over five months on the Billboard R&B chart in 1974 including a week at #1. White also married the lead singer of the group, Glodean James
Glodean White
Glodean B. White is an R&B singer who was married to performer Barry White. In the 1980s, White made numerous appearances on Soul Train and the Soul Train Music Awards. She was also part of the band Love Unlimited....

, on July 4, 1974.)

The 70s as solo artist

White wanted to work with another act but decided to work with a solo male artist. While working on a few demos for a male singer, he made three song demos of himself singing and playing, but Nunes heard them and insisted that he re-record and release them himself as a solo recording artist. After arguing for days about it, White was finally persuaded to release the songs himself although he was initially reluctant to step out in front of the microphone.

He then wrote several other songs and recorded them for what eventually became an entire album of music. He was going to use the name "White Heat," but decided on using his given name instead. White was still hesitating up to the time the label copy was made. It eventually became the first solo White album, 1973's "I've Got So Much to Give
I've Got So Much To Give
"I've Got So Much to Give" is an R&B contemporary romantic ballad composed and recorded by popular soul artist Barry White in 1972. It was originally conceived by White as a single but then featured on the album of the same name , that peaked at number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart...

". It included the title track and his first solo chart hit, "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby
I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby
"I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby" is a song written, produced and recorded by Barry White. Considering how successful it would end up being, it would probably come as a surprise that, for many years, White had little to no interest in a recording career...

", which also rose to #1 on the Billboard R&B charts as well as #3 on the Billboard Pop charts in 1973 and stayed in the top 40 for many weeks.

Other chart hits by White included "Never, Never Gonna Give You Up
Never, Never Gonna Give You Up
"Never, Never Gonna Give You Up" is a song written and recorded by Barry White. Released as a single from his 1973 album Stone Gon, it was a #7 hit in the United States on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and reached #14 on the UK singles chart...

" (#2 R&B, #7 Pop in 1973), "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe
Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe
"Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" is a song written, recorded and produced by Barry White. Released as the first single from White's album Can't Get Enough in 1974, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 and U.S. R&B chart and has since become one of White's signature tunes. It was his second...

" (# 1 Pop and R&B in 1974), "You're the First, the Last, My Everything
You're the First, the Last, My Everything
"You're the First, the Last, My Everything" is a popular song recorded by Barry White. Written by White, Tony Sepe and Peter Radcliffe and produced by White, "You're the First, The Last, My Everything" was White's fourth top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, reaching #2; it spent a...

" (#1 R&B, #2 Pop in 1974), "What Am I Gonna Do with You
What Am I Gonna Do with You
"What Am I Gonna Do with You" is a popular song recorded by Barry White. Written and produced by White, "What Am I Gonna Do With You" was White's fifth top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, reaching number eight and spent a week at number one on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart...

" (#1 R&B, #8 Pop in 1975), "Let the Music Play" (#4 R&B in 1976), "It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next to Me
It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me
"It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next to Me" was a hit song by Barry White. The song was written by Ekundayo Paris and Nelson Pigford. Similar to the initial reaction after first hearing his earlier hit "You're the First, the Last, My Everything", when those close to White heard the demo of "It's...

" (#1 R&B, #4 Pop in 1977) and "Your Sweetness is My Weakness" (#2 R&B in 1978). White also had a strong following in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 where he scored five Top 10 hits and one number 1 for "You're The First." His popularity as a singer of love songs, coupled with his large size, led to him acquiring the affectionate nickname "The Walrus of Love".

The Love Unlimited Orchestra

In 1972 White created The Love Unlimited Orchestra
The Love Unlimited Orchestra
The Love Unlimited Orchestra, formed by American R&B/soul musician, Barry White, was a 40-piece string-laden orchestra that served as a backing unit for White and female vocal trio Love Unlimited. From the mid 1970s on, they also recorded several albums under their own name.Their biggest hit...

, a 40-piece orchestral group to be used originally as a backing band for the girl-group Love Unlimited. However, White had other plans, and in 1974 he released an album of their music titled "Rhapsody in White
Rhapsody in White
Rhapsody in White is the debut album of American soul group The Love Unlimited Orchestra. It was a huge success for the group, who backed for and was led by Barry White for many singles such as "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby"...

", yielding the composition "Love's Theme
Love's Theme
"Love's Theme" is an instrumental piece recorded by Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra and released in 1973. It is one of the few instrumental and purely orchestral singles to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, in early 1974...

," reaching #1 on the Billboard Pop charts. It was one of only a handful of instrumental
An instrumental is a musical composition or recording without lyrics or singing, although it might include some non-articulate vocal input; the music is primarily or exclusively produced by musical instruments....

 recordings ever to do so.

White is sometimes credited with ushering in the "disco" sound, seamlessly combining R&B music with classical
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 music. Some also regard the song as the first hit in the actual "disco era", but Nino Tempo
Nino Tempo
Nino Tempo is an American musician, singer, and actor.A musical prodigy, Nino Tempo learned to play the clarinet and the tenor saxophone as a child. He was a talent show winner at four years of age and appeared on television with Benny Goodman at seven...

 & the 5th Ave Sax Band's song "Sister James" had already reached the Billboard Hot 100 a few months before and had a disco sound in its own right.

He would continue to make albums with the Orchestra, but never achieved the same kind of success with his debut album. The Orchestra ceased to make albums in 1983, but continued to support White as a backing band.

The 80s

After six years White left 20th Century in 1979 to launch his own label, Unlimited Gold, with CBS/Columbia Records
Columbia Records
Columbia Records is an American record label, owned by Japan's Sony Music Entertainment, operating under the Columbia Music Group with Aware Records. It was founded in 1888, evolving from an earlier enterprise, the American Graphophone Company — successor to the Volta Graphophone Company...

. Although White's success on the pop charts slowed down as the disco era came to an end, he maintained a loyal following throughout his career. Despite several albums over the next three years he failed to repeat his earlier successes, with no singles managing to reach the Billboard Hot 100 except for 1982's "Change," climbing into the Billboard R&B Top 20 (#12). His label venture was exacting a heavy financial cost on White, so he concentrated on mostly touring and finally folded his label in 1983.

After four years he signed with A&M Records
A&M Records
A&M Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group that operates under the mantle of its Interscope-Geffen-A&M division.-Beginnings:...

, and with the release of 1987's "The Right Night & Barry White
The Right Night & Barry White
The Right Night & Barry White is the self-produced sixteenth album by American R&B singer Barry White, which was released in 1987 on A&M Records...

," the single titled "Sho' You Right" made it to the Billboard R&B charts, peaking at #17.

In 1989 he released "The Man Is Back!
The Man Is Back!
The Man Is Back! is the self-produced seventeenth album by American R&B singer Barry White, which was released in 1989 on A&M Records. The first album of White's comeback phase, the album featured White incorporating a more contemporary production style while retaining the essential elements of his...

" and with it had three top 40 singles on the Billboard R&B charts: "Super Lover", which made it to #34, "I Wanna Do It Good to Ya", which made it to #26, and "When Will I See You Again
When Will I See You Again
"When Will I See You Again" is a song by American soul group The Three Degrees, from their third album The Three Degrees. The song was written and produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.It was one of the most successful recordings of the "Philly Soul" era...

", which made it to #32.

The 90s

A '70s nostalgia fad allowed Barry White to enjoy a renewed wave of popularity in the '90s. After White took part in a Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones
Quincy Delightt Jones, Jr. is an American record producer and musician. A conductor, musical arranger, film composer, television producer, and trumpeter. His career spans five decades in the entertainment industry and a record 79 Grammy Award nominations, 27 Grammys, including a Grammy Legend...

 record titled "Back on the Block
Back on the Block
Back on the Block is a 1989 studio album produced by Quincy Jones. It features many famous and important musicians and singers, including Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Joe Zawinul, Ice-T, Big Daddy Kane, Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Luther Vandross, Dionne Warwick, Barry White,...

", on the song titled "The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)", which topped the R&B chart in 1990, he mounted an effective comeback with several albums, each one more successful than the last. He returned to the top of the charts in 1991 with the album "Put Me in Your Mix
Put Me in Your Mix
Put Me in Your Mix is a 1991 album by R&B singer Barry White. Regarded as a return to form, with exemplary slow jams, it was the second album of his comeback phase and contained the smash title track...

", which reached #8 on the Billboard R&B Albums chart and the song by the same name reached #2 on the Billboard R&B singles chart.

In 1994 he released the album The Icon Is Love
The Icon Is Love
The Icon Is Love is the nineteenth album by American R&B singer Barry White, which was released in 1994 on A&M Records. The album represented a major comeback for White both critically and commercially, and went on to become easily his most successful album since his 1970s heyday...

which went to #1 on the Billboard R&B album charts, and the single "Practice What You Preach" gave him his first #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart in almost 20 years, and was nominated for a Grammy in the Best R&B Album category (it lost to TLC's "CrazySexyCool
CrazySexyCool is the second studio album by American R&B group TLC, released by LaFace Records on November 15, 1994 in North America...


In 1996, White recorded the duet "In Your Wildest Dreams
In Your Wildest Dreams (song)
"In Your Wildest Dreams" is a duet released by Tina Turner and Barry White in 1996, from Tina's album Wildest Dreams. The single's largest success was in Austria where it peaked at #2. The original European album version featured spoken vocals by actor Antonio Banderas, while for the single...

" with Tina Turner
Tina Turner
Tina Turner is an American singer and actress whose career has spanned more than 50 years. She has won numerous awards and her achievements in the rock music genre have led many to call her the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll".Turner started out her music career with husband Ike Turner as a member of the...

. 1996 also saw the release of Space Jam
Space Jam
Aside from Jordan, a number of NBA players and coaches appeared in the film. Larry Bird portrays a friend of Jordan who joins him for a game of golf. When the Monstars steal the NBA players' talent, they invade a game between the Phoenix Suns and the New York Knicks, causing the Knicks' Patrick...

 and its soundtrack
Space Jam (soundtrack)
- Album singles :...

, on which White had a duet with Chris Rock
Chris Rock
Christopher Julius "Chris" Rock III is an American comedian, actor, screenwriter, television producer, film producer and director. He was voted in the US as the 5th greatest stand-up comedian of all time by Comedy Central...

, called "Basketball Jones," a remake of Cheech & Chong's "Basketball Jones" from 1974
Basketball Jones
"Basketball Jones" is a 1974 animated short film based on the Cheech and Chong song "Basketball Jones featuring Tyrone Shoelaces", from their album Los Cochinos. The cartoon was created to promote the song's release in the United States. It is about a teenager named Tyrone Shoelaces and his love of...


His final album, 1999's Staying Power
Staying Power (album)
Staying Power is the twentieth and last album by American R&B singer Barry White, released in July 1999. The album was White's first release for five years, and his only recording for the Private Music label, with whom he had signed following a four-album deal with A&M which had culminated in 1994...

, resulted in his last hit song "Staying Power
Staying Power (song)
"Staying Power" is a 1999 song by Barry White and one of the singles from his album of the same name. Although not a major hit for White, it did manage to chart....

," which placed #45 on the Billboard R&B charts. The single won him two Grammy Awards in the categories Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance.

Acting career

Over the course of his career, White sometimes did voice-over work for TV and movies. He voiced the character Bear in the 1975
1975 in film
The year 1975 in film involved some significant events, with Steven Spielberg's thriller Jaws topping the box office.-Events:*March 26 - The film version of The Who's Tommy premieres in London....

 film Coonskin
Coonskin (film)
Coonskin is a 1975 American animated film written and directed by Ralph Bakshi, about an African American rabbit, fox, and bear who rise to the top of the organized crime racket in Harlem, encountering corrupt law enforcement, con artists and the Mafia...

and also played the character Sampson in the movie's live-action segments.

He appeared as himself in a couple episodes of The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

, and most importantly the episode "Whacking Day
Whacking Day
"Whacking Day" is the twentieth episode of The Simpsons fourth season, and originally aired April 29, 1993. It concerns the fictional holiday "Whacking Day", celebrated annually May 10, in which the citizens of Springfield drive snakes into the town square, then club them to death...

" in which Bart and Lisa used his famously deep bass singing voice
Bass (voice type)
A bass is a type of male singing voice and possesses the lowest vocal range of all voice types. According to The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, a bass is typically classified as having a range extending from around the second E below middle C to the E above middle C...

, played through loudspeakers placed on the ground, to lull and attract snakes. White was a fan of the show, and had reportedly contacted the staff about wanting to make a guest appearance.

He played the role of a bus driver for a Prodigy commercial in 1995, and he also portrayed the voice of a rabbit in a Good Seasons salad dressing mix commercial, singing a song called "You Can't Bottle Love."

In addition, he did some work for car commercials, most famously for Oldsmobile
Oldsmobile was a brand of American automobile produced for most of its existence by General Motors. It was founded by Ransom E. Olds in 1897. In its 107-year history, it produced 35.2 million cars, including at least 14 million built at its Lansing, Michigan factory...

, and later on, Jeep
Jeep is an automobile marque of Chrysler . The first Willys Jeeps were produced in 1941 with the first civilian models in 1945, making it the oldest off-road vehicle and sport utility vehicle brand. It inspired a number of other light utility vehicles, such as the Land Rover which is the second...


He also provided voice over for Arby's
Arby's is a fast food restaurant chain in the United States and Canada. Roark Capital Group owns 81.5% of the company, with Wendy's Company owning the other 18.5%. It is primarily known for selling roast beef sandwiches and curly fries. The Arby's menu also includes chicken sandwiches, appetizers,...

 Restaurant commercials on TV and Radio to promote their 'Market Fresh' menu.

Also his voice can be heard in Apple's first iBook
The iBook was a line of laptop computers sold by Apple Computer from 1999 to 2006. The line targeted the consumer and education markets, with lower specifications and prices than the PowerBook, Apple's higher-end line of laptop computers....


He made two guest appearances on the comedy-drama TV series Ally McBeal
Ally McBeal
Ally McBeal is an American legal comedy-drama series which aired on the Fox network from 1997 to 2002. The series was created by David E. Kelley, who also served as the executive producer, along with Bill D'Elia...

, as his music was often featured on the show in dream sequences.

Illness and death

White, who had been clinically obese for much of his adult life, suffered kidney failure in the fall of 2002 as a result of chronic high blood pressure. He suffered a stroke
A stroke, previously known medically as a cerebrovascular accident , is the rapidly developing loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia caused by blockage , or a hemorrhage...

 in May 2003, after which he was forced to retire from public life. On July 4, 2003, he died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Originally established as Kaspare Cohn Hospital in 1902, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is a non-profit, tertiary 958-bed hospital and multi-specialty academic health science centre located in Los Angeles, California, US. Part of the Cedars-Sinai Health System, the hospital employs a staff of over...

 in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 after suffering from total renal failure
Renal failure
Renal failure or kidney failure describes a medical condition in which the kidneys fail to adequately filter toxins and waste products from the blood...

. His remains were cremated, and the ashes were scattered by his family off the California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 coast. His last words were,"Leave me alone, I'm fine".

On September 20, 2004, he was posthumously inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame
Dance Music Hall of Fame
The Dance Music Hall of Fame was created in 2003 when music industry veteran John Parker thought that something needed to be done to honor the creators and innovators of dance music...

 at a ceremony held in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...


External links

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