- Category : Musician - Popular
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Split - Small (11)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Rulership 3
American musician. Raised in the tough streets of South Central Los Angeles, White ran with street gangs, fighting, robbing, and drinking until he ended up in Juvenile Hall for three months at age 15. At the same time, he developed an interest in astrology and memorized the chapter on Virgo from Linda Goodman's "Sun Signs."
He got his musical start at age eight when he began singing in the church choir and two years later he became the organist and assistant choir director. By age 16, he had joined a rhythm and blues band, the Upfronts, as a singer and pianist. The group performed in clubs in the Los Angeles area. He joined Rampart Records where he began composing and producing music. A fortuitous meeting with Bob and Earl resulted in his composition of their 1963 hit, "the Harlem Shuffle." Beginning in 1966, he joined Mustang/Bronco Records and met three female singers which he named Love Unlimited. He produced their first single which brought a gold record. In 1973, he and the group signed recording contracts with Twentieth Century-Fox Records.
His initial release in June 1973 , "I'm gonna Love You Just a Little Bit More, Baby," topped the charts, a performance which blended his deep intimate R&B baritone with lush orchestral arrangements, a combination that was to become a trademark. and it was followed by many million-selling singles. Between 1973 and 1977 he reached a professional pinnacle with peer recognition and awards, also racking up chart hits and gold records for "You're the First, the Last, My Everything," "Can't Get Enough of yYour Love," and "Never Gonna Give You Up." His style was described as "sophistisoul." He formed his own recording company, with his 41-piece Love Unlimited Orchestra, in 1979.
Throughout the 80s he continued to compose and perform, producing several albums. His popularity fluctuated over the years and White survived heavy losses in his personal life, too. On November 18, 1963 he was pushed into a difficult marriage, which lasted nine years and produced three children. He remarried on July 4, 1974 but this too ended in divorce. He had a total of eight children.
When his brother died from a gunshot wound on December 5, 1983, radio presenters accidentally announced his own death. And ten years later White's beloved mother died after a long battle with Alzheimers. White himself fought hypertension for many years until his kidneys collapses, which sent him into a coma in late October 1995 and made him reasses his lifestyle.
He published his autobiography, "Love Unlimited" in 1999."I sleep music, I eat music, I'm never without it, I'm never without music, that's my first lady," he once told a reporter. He always insisted that he was a homebody, hapiest in his home studio, "I am passionate. I am romantic, I am thrilled throughout my soul to be creating music," he was quoted as saying.
White died at 9:35 AM on July 4, 2003 at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, according to media reports. He had been on dialysis and his hypertension, which had triggered kidney failure and a mild stroke, combined with a low-grade infection contributed to his death. He was alone when he died.