Profiles top women rhythm-and-blues artists of the past thirty years, discussing the lives, musical achievements, and career challenges of such performers as Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, and Patti LaBelle. Reprint.
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David Nathan's life changed as an English teenager in the '60s. The agent of that shift? Records by black American singers such as Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, and Nina Simone. Soon he was the head of Simone's British fan club, and in short order, became a journalist with growing access to his heroines. Over the ensuing years, Amazon.com and Billboard contributor Nathan has had Franklin bake him a peach cobbler, stood under the thrown shade of everyone from Esther Phillips to Anita Baker, and even had Miss Ross ask him to call her "Diana." The Soulful Divas captures Nathan's obsession with his favorites, providing two-layered narratives that meld career rundowns with interviews and other personal meetings with his subjects. Most of the 14 single-artist chapters are successful portraits, with the exception of Nathan's profile of Natalie Cole, whose drug problems and career resurrection in the shade of her late father are little more than the stuff of a legend-in-her-own-mind. A dearth of material weakens a closing chapter on young divas Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, and Toni Braxton. But Nathan also provides many invaluable, eye-opening moments, such as the story of a baseball-bat-wielding Phillips threatening to smash up the offices of a record company slow to pay royalties. Finally, he fills out the received wisdom on "X-rated" Millie Jackson, who says, "When I'm home, it's crossword puzzles, television, and the kids." Kids who no doubt, like Nathan, picked up their share of tips on life and love from Jackson and her sisters. --Rickey WrightFrom the Inside Flap:
: "Do You Know the Way To San Jose?" "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." "Respect." "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." "I'm Every Woman." "I've Got Love On My Mind." "Lady Marmalade." "I Wanna Dance With Somebody." "Giving You The Best That I Got." "When I Think Of You."
Have you stopped humming or singing along yet? Each of these memorable songs is just one of the many tunes recorded by some of the most divine voices in the music business. Dionne Warwick. Diana Ross. Aretha Franklin. Roberta Flack. Chaka Khan. Natalie Cole. Patti LaBelle. Whitney Houston. Anita Baker. Janet Jackson. While the names of these singers - as well as those of Gladys Knight, Nina Simone, Esther Phillips, Phyllis Hyman, Doris Troy, Millie Jackson, and Toni Braxton - and their hits are well known and instantly recognizable, their stories aren't. Until now that is. In The Soulful Divas, David Nathan profiles the greatest female rhythm and blues vocalists of the past three decades as never before. He celebrates these outstanding artists in fascinating, unsanitized, behind-the-scenes portraits. All of the profiles are based on the author's longstanding, personal relationships with the women featured, and are an outgrowth of both his in-person interview sessions and informal chats. The result is an entertaining, candid look at the ups and downs of each performer's career, as well as how these African-American women have wielded power in a basically white, male-dominated industry.
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Book Description Billboard Books, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110823084302