Minnie Riperton was born on this date in 1947. Her goal at a very young age was to become a famous singer. Riperton studied opera and spent months learning how to breathe and listening to and holding vowels.
She left school early to make $10 a song, singing backup at local studios. Some reports indicate that Minnie signed her first contract at 14, while others report her to be 16. [SOURCE]
The song that inspires me whenever I hear it is simply entitled, 'Loving You'. She sang it with gusto in 1974 on Soul Train:
In 1976, Riperton announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had undergone a modified mastectomy. Her "experience" (as she referred to her illness) would give her yet another reason for her life ... lending her celebrity and compassion for others to become a spokesperson for breast cancer awareness, the need for self-examination, and the benefit of early detection.
In addition to being a mother, wife, activist, fund raiser, lecturer, wife, and mother, she signed with Capitol Records, a contract that gave her the creative freedom and production quality that she desired. During the summer of 1978, creating what would be her last album, simply entitled "Minnie." She passed away in her husband’s arms on July 12, 1979, at 31 years of age.
Happy Birthday Minnie!