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Warwick, Dionne 1940–

Dionne Warwick 1940

Vocalist

At a Glance

Selected discography

Sources

A popular recording artist and concert performer since the early 1960s, Dionne Warwick has so firmly established herself with the public that hit records now seem icing on the cake rather than an attention getting neccessity. By becoming a trend-defying musical fixture, Warwick has achieved one of her early goals. Someday I want the kind of loyalty among audiences that Ella Fitzgerald has. So that if I want to stop for two years or ten years, I could come back and still be Miss Dionne Warwick, Warwick told Newsweek in 1966. Though more than three decades have passed since her initial success, and several years have gone by since she has had a hit record, Warwick can still sell out concert halls and supper clubs. In an age when the music industry is crammed to bursting with pretentious one-hit wonders, it was an education and a privilege to witness an artist with true class, style and talent, wrote a reviewer for Ethnic Newswatch about Warwicks appearance with the BBC Concert Orchestra at Londons Royal Festival Hall in 1995.

Dionne Warwick was born Marie Dionne Warwick in East Orange, New Jersey, a suburb of New York City, in 1940. Her father, Mancei, worked as a chef and butcher. Her mother, Lee, managed a well-known gospel group called the Drinkard Singers. The family included Warwicks two younger siblings, Dee Dee, and Mancei, Jr. Warwicks parents were devout Methodists who gave their children a highly moral and extremely supportive upbringing. They have always been 100 percent for me. As long as Im happy and can earn a decent living, theyre happy for me, Warwick said of her parents to Mary Smith of Ebony in 1968.

As a teenager in the mid-1950s, Warwick, her sister Dee Dee, and two cousins formed a group called The Gospelaires. The group performed locally and sometimes worked as back up singers for other acts. Planning to become a public school music teacher, Warwick accepted a scholarship to study at the University of Hartford,s Hartford, College of Music. In 1961, during a summer vacation from college, Warwick rejoined The Gospelaires to sing back up on The Drifters recording of Mexican Divorce. Conducting the session was the songs composer Burt Bacharach. She was singing louder than everybody else so I couldnt help noticing

At a Glance

Born Marie Dionne Warrick, December 12, 1940, in East Orange, NJ; daughter of Mancel (a chef), and Lee Warrick (business manager for a musical group); married Bill Elliott (actor and jazz drummer), c. 1967 (divorced 1975); children: David and Damon. Education: Attended Hartt College of Music, University of Hartford. Hartford, CT. c. 1959-62.

Career: Sang with the Gospelaires, a musical group, from 1955 to early 1960s. Recording session back up singer for The Drifters, and other musical groups in the early 1960s. Solo performer with numerous hit records, beginning with Dont Make Me Over in 1962. Other hits include Anyone Who Had a Heart, Walk On By, Trains and Boats and Planes, Do You Know the Way to San Jose?, Ill Never Fall in Love Again, I say a Little Prayer for You, Heartbreaker, Deja Vu, and Thats What Friends Are For. Host of television program Solid Gold, 1980-81. Spokesperson for the Psychic Friends Network 1992-97. Made film appearances in Slaves, 1969, and Rent-A-Cop, 1987,

Awards: Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary Pop Vocal (Female) for Do You Know the Way to San lose? in 1968, Ill Never Fall in Love Again in 1970, and Ill Never Love This Way Again in 1979. Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Vocal (Female) for Deja Vu in 1979. Gold Records for I Say a Little Prayer In 1968, lll Never Love This Way Again, in 1979, Then Came You in 1974, and Thats What Friends are For" in 1986, National Association of Colored People (NAACP) Entertainer of the Year Award, 1986; NAACP Key of Life Award, 1990; Jackie Robinson Foundattion Robie Award, 1992.

Addresses: Residence Brazil; Business; Arista Records, 6 W. 57th St, New York, NY, 10019.

her, Bacharach recalled to Smith. Not only was she clearly audible, but Dionne had something. Just the way she carries herself, the way she works, her flow and feeling for the musicit was there when I first met her. She had, and still has, a kind of elegance, a grace that very few other people have.

Bacharach, and his lyricist partner Hal David, asked Warwick to sing on a demonstration record of one of their compositions. The record was heard by Florence Greenberg of Scepter Records, a small label specializing in rhythm and blues. Greenberg did not like the song but did like the singer and signed Warwick to a contract. Warwicks first recording for Scepter, released in 1962, was more Bacharach-David material. Though Scepter was promoting the song I Smiled Yesterday as the potential hit, it was the records B side, the powerfully plaintive Dont Make Me Over, that caught on and went to the number twenty-one position on the Billboard chart. A misspelling on the recordWarwick instead of Warrickgave Warwick her stage name.

The trio of Warwick-Bacharach-David followed up with a long string of top ten hits over the next decade, including Anyone Who Had a Heart and Walk on By, both in 1964, Message to Michael in 1966, I Say a Little Prayer for You in 1969, This Girls in Love with You in 1969. Other hits include Trains and Boats and Planes, Alfie, Youll Never Get to Heaven, and Make It Easy on Yourself. Warwick took two songs from Bacharach and Davids 1968 Broadway musical Promises, Promises Ill Never Fall in Love Again, and the title songto the pop charts. She won the Grammy Award for Contemporary Pop Vocal twice during this periodfor Do You Know the Way to San Jose? in 1968 and Ill Never Fall in Love Again in 1970.

Bacharach told Newseek that Warwicks sound has the delicacy and mystery of sailing ships in bottles. Its tremendously inspiring. We cut songs for her like fine cloth, tailor-made. Though numerous other performers made hits of Bacharach-David songs, including The Carpenters with Close to You, and B.J. Thomas with Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head, it was their work with Warwick that best exemplfied their distinctive style. In The Faber Companion to 20th-Century Popular Music, Phil Hardy and Dave Laing sum up the Warwick-Bacharach-David magic as followsWarwick provided the light, lithe voice, David the literate, witty lyrics and Bacharach the imaginative melodies, unusual arrangements and complex rhythms that few singers other than Warwick could have managed: on Anyone Who Had Heart, for example, she deftly weaves into and through 5/4 to 4/4 to 7/8. Strangely enough, it was non-Bacharach-David song Theme from The Valley of the Dolls, written by Andre and Dory Previnthat brought Warwick closest to the top of the chart in the 1960s. The song climbed to number two in early 1968.

Warwicks appeal crossed racial barriers. She was to the 1960s what Nat King Cole had been to the 1950sa mainstream performer who happened to be black. Nevertheless, Warwick occasionally faced race related problems such as bigoted hecklers in the audience and department store clerks who questioned her ability to pay for costly items (shopping is one of Warwicks primary pastimes and for a time she rented an additional apartment just to store her clothes). Cool and confident, Warwick responded to anti-black sentiment with cutting remarks and, if neccessary, forceful letters to local authorities. Having grown up in a racially mixed, lower middle class community in the North, Warwick was never hesitant about appearing in the South. To me, Mississippi is just a long word. Theyve got their problems, but theyre not going to make them my problems, Warwick explained to Ebony in 1968.

In 1972, Bacharach and David brought their song writ-ing partnership to an acrimonious end. The split shocked Warwick and left her unable to fulfill her obligation to Warner Bros., the record company with which she had signed the previous year, to make a new album of Bacharch-David material. I had heard the scuttlebutt but I thought if anybody would know, I would know. Famous last words. I found out in the paper like everybody else that they werent going to do the album, they werent writing together, they werent even talking to each other. What hurt me the most was that I thought I was their friend. But I was wrong. They did not care about Dionne Warwick. It was devastating, Warwick told Stephen Holden of Rolling Stone Threatened with a breach of contract suit from Warner Bros., Warwick sued Bacharach and David and eventually won an out-of-court settlement.

Though her collaboration with The Spinners on the song Then Came You, went to the top of the Billboard chart in the autumn of 1974, Warwicks career languished for much of the 1970s. Warwicks personal life also reached a low point during this period. Her marriage to Bill Elliott, a musician and actor whom she had married in 1967, began to founder. On the advice of an astrologer and numerologist, Warwick added an e to the end of her last name in the hope improving her fortunes. The extra letter did not help. Every place I worked that had the e on the marquee, something went wrong, Warwick told Rich Wiseman of People. Warwick and Eliot, who had two young sons together, were divorced in 1975. Two years later, Warwicks father died suddenly and her mother suffered a stroke. To deal with her personal and professional troubles, Warwick turned to almost nonstop touring. I felt Id blow emotionally if I didnt immerse myself in work. I pushed myself, Warwick told Wiseman.

Warwicks career got back on track when she signed with Arista records in 1979. Arista president Clive Davis, who has also been instrumental in the career of Warwicks cousin, Whitney Houston, was excited and proud to have Warwick on his label. I can see now that while I was at Warners, everything was wrong but me. Now, once again, everything is being done absolutely for me. Theres no overshadowing. Im sitting on top of everything, which is the way it should be, Warwick told Holden.

Davis arranged for Barry Manilow to produce Warwicks first Arista album, Dionne. Warwick was at uneasy at first about working with Manilow, fearing their differing styles would clash. She was especially concerned that the album might have a disco sound. Warwick was deliberately ignoring the disco trend. Im too much of a snob to do faddish material, she explained to Wiseman. Happily, the Warwick-Manilow collaboration was spectacularly successful, resulting in the hits Ill Never Love This Way Again and Deja Vu. Each song earned a Grammy award for Warwick (in the pop Female Vocal and in Rhythm and Blues Female Vocal categories, respectively). Manilow told Wiseman that Dionne is one of the all-time best. She doesnt have to snort coke and wait for the lightning bolt to strike.

Warwick further increased her visibility by hosting the television show Solid Gold, which featured a countdown of the weeks top hits and guest appearances by popular recording artists. Warwick began hosting the show in July 1980 and was fired in the Spring of 1981. The official reason for the firing was that the producers wanted a younger host to attract a younger audience but there were rumors that the real reason was that Warwick was temperamental and difficult to work with. Warwick denied being temperamental, only perfectionistic, and said that sexism and racism had a great deal to do with her dismissal. She claimed that female performers who assert their opinions are unfairly labelled difficult. Also, one of her chief concerns as host was to insure that black performers had their share of attention and were presented in the best possible light. Warwick was critical of her replacement, singer Marilyn McCoo, formerly of The Fifth Dimension. Im angry at her, and its not sour grapes, Warwick told Dennis Hunt of Ebony She came in with an III-do-anything-you-want-me-to-do attitude She came in at a subservient position, which is not right for a black woman. When I was with the show, I was always in a position of strength, I was the main person on the show, but shes secondary Shes a black woman, and she should not have settled for less. You have to fight for what you can get.

The Solid Gold brouhaha had little effect on Warwicks popularity. The title song from her 1982 album Heart-breaker took her yet again to the top ten on the Billboard chart. The song was written by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, who also produced the album. As with Manilow three years earlier, Warwick was reluctant to work with Gibb, an established performer/composer whose style was very different from her own. Also, she was concerned that their collaboration might be replica of Gibbs recent work on Barbra Streisands Guilty album. Theres some of the Bee Gees sound on my album, Warwick explained to Hunt. But thats Barrys style, and you cant avoid it. But at least the Bee Gee thing isnt overwhelming. The main thing is that the album did not turn out to be Guilty II It just had to be different from Streisands. I think we were successful in that. The songs on this album are in my style, not hers.

Since the early 1980s, Warwick has devoted much of her time to charitable activities. In 1984, she was one of 45 top performers to sing on the hit single We Are the World, the proceeds of which went to USA for Africas hunger relief program. Warwick brought together Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, and Elton John to join her on the recording Thats What Friends Are For. The song, written by Burt Bacharach, with whom Warwick had patched up her differences, and lyricist Carole Bayer Sager, was a smash that went to number one on the Billboard chart in January 1986 and raised an estimated $2 million for AIDS research. Warwick, who has hosted countless fundraising benefits for AIDS research, has also been involved in raising awareness of other health issues, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Sickle Cell Anemia. In the mid-1980s she founded the group BRAVO (Blood Revolves Around Victorious Optimism) to raise awareness of blood diseases.

Bringing her social concerns to the music industry, Warwick served on the Entertainment Commmision of the National Political Congress of Black Women (NPCBW). In 1995, she co-chaired with Melba Moore, a special meeting of the commission during the NPCBWs convention in Seattle. One of the commissions major concerns was gangsta rap lyrics, which the NPCBW views as degrading and insulting to black women. There are some songs that are just a little too much. I feel that our young people are creative enough musically to find positive sides of life and put them into songs. I know they can do it, Warwick told Don Thomas of Ethnic Newswatch

A heavy schedule of charitable activities has not caused Warwicks singing career to languish. She has continued to record and perform regularly. In 1987, her duet with Jeffery Osborne on the song Love Power went to number twelve on the Billboard chart. Among her notable albums is the 1992 release Friends Can Be Lovers, which featured the song Sunny Weather Lover, Warwicks first Bacharach-David material in twenty years. Another song on the album, Love Will Find a Way, was written by Warwicks son David Elliott and his songwriter partner, Terry Steele. The song was performed as a duet with cousin Whitney Houston. The album also features Warwick in a duet with close friend Luther Vandross on the song Fragile, written by pop star Sting. The entire album feels the way that it actually happened, which is why I am so proud of it, Warwick told Jet Its full of love. Its full of friendship, its full of family and its full of people (producers) who wanted to give the very best that they could possibly give.

Another notable album is Aquarela do Brasil (Watercolors of Brazil), a collection of Brazillian music released in 1994. Warwick first visited Brazil in the early 1960s and has become so entranced by the South American country that she has bought a home there and has studied Portuguese. I love Brazil. I see there so much of what weve lost here in America. I see complete families, from grandmother to grandchild and in between at the malls on Saturdays together, on Sundays at the park together I think the most important thing is that we all have problems obviously, but for whatever reasons it appears that through it all, people in Brazil still have the ability to smile, there is always tomorrow still. This attitude particularly captivated me, Warwick told Cristina M. Eibscher of News from Brazil in 1995. Warwick has adopted a favela or shanty town in Rio de Janeiro. The Brazillian people have been offering me so much that I felt that it was time for me to give something in return for their hospitality and friendship. Thats when I decided to adopt a favel and help people who are needy. Its a great feeling to know that you can contribute for the happiness and well being of others, especially for the well being of Brazillian children, Warwick explained to Eibscher.

Away from music, Warwick devotes her time to a Beverly Hills-based interior design business she operates with business partner Bruce Garrick. Its another extension of my artistic expression, Warwick said of interior design to Ruth Ryon of the Los Angeles Times in 1992. Most of the firms work has been for private homes, including those of Burt Reynolds and Tom Jones. Warwicks appearances on infomercials for the Psychic Friends Network is one of her best known nonmusical endeavors. Its the most successful infomercial of all time, said Jack Schember, publisher of Response TV, a magazine that tracks the direct-response television, to David Barboza of the New York Times Warwick defends her sometimes mocked association with the Psychic Friends Network. She told Clarence Waldron of Jet, I find psychics and astrologers and numerologists to be very fascinating people I feel that there are people who have developed eyes and have an ability that we have to question because we cant do it God will always be first. God cant be any place but first. And any of those who doubt that, then they have a problem.

Selected discography

Presenting Dionne Warwick, 1964.

Anyone Who Had a Heart, 1964.

Make Way for Dionne Warwick, 1964.

The Sensitive Sound of Dionne Warwick, 1965.

Here I Am, 1965.

Dionne Warwick in Paris, 1965.

Here Where There is Love, 1967.

On Stage and in the Movies, 1967.

Windows of the World, 1967.

The Magic of Believing, 1967.

Valley of the Dolls and Others, 1968.

Soulful, 1969.

Greatest Motion Picture Hits, 1969.

Dionne Warwicks Golden Hits, Volume 1, 1969.

Dionne Warwicks Golden Hits, Volume 2, 1970.

Ill Never Fall in Love Again, 1970.

Very Dionne, 1971.

Promises, Promises, 1971.

From Within, Volume 1, 1972.

Dionne, 1973.

Just Being Myself, 1973.

Then Came You, 1975.

Track of the Cat, 1975.

Love at First Sight, 1977.

Dionne, 1979.

No Night So Long, 1980.

Hot! Live and Otherwise, 1981.

Heartbreaker, 1983.

Finder of Lost Loves,

Dionne and Friends, 1986.

Anthology, 1962-1971, 1986.

Masterpieces, 1986.

Reservations for Two, 1987.

Dionne Warwick Sings Cole Porter, 1990.

Hidden Gems: The Best of Dionne Warwick, 1992.

Friends Can Be Lovers, 1993.

Aquarela do Brasil, 1994.

From the Vaults, 1995.

Sources

Books

Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia Brooklyn, NY: Carlson Publishing, 1993.

Elrod, Bruce C. Your Hit Parade Ann Arbor, MI: Popular Culture Ink, 1994

Hardy, Phil, and Dave Laing. The Faber Companion to 20th-century Popular Music London: Faber and Faber, 1992.

Notable Black American Women. Detroit, MI: Gale Research, Inc., 1992.

Periodicals

Billboard, October 1, 1994, p. 14.

California Voice, June 18, 1995, p. 3.

Cincinnati Call and Post, January 26, 1995, p. 1B.

Contemporary Musicians, Volume 2, 1990, p. 244-246.

Ebony, May 1968, p. 37-42; May 1983, p. 95-100; April 1995, p. 22.

Jet, March 29, 1993, p. 54-58; January 17, 1994, p. 56.

Los Angeles Times, October 4, 1992, p. K1, 10.

Miami Times, February 23, 1995, p. 1B.

Michigan Chronicle, February 13, 1996, p. 1D.

News from Brazil, October 31, 1995, p. 41.

Newsweek, October 10, 1966, p. 101-102.

New York Beacon, July 31, 1996, p.26.

New York Times, May 12, 1968, p. D17, 20; December 7, 1995, p. D8.

Oakland Post, December 10, 1995, p. 8B.

People, October 15, 1979, p. 85.

Rolling Stone, November 15, 1979, p. 16-17.

Other

Information also obtained from Ethnic Newswatch, Softline Information, Ine, Stamford, CT.

Mary Kalfatovic

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Warwick, Dionne

Dionne Warwick

Singer

The elegant Dionne Warwick was one of the first black recording artists to reach a mainstream pop audience that knew no racial or ethnic barriers. During the 1960s Warwick sold a phenomenal 12 million albums and placed numerous singles in the Top Ten as the result of her association with successful songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David. During those years, wrote Rich Wiseman of People, Warwick was "a red-hot singer of cold-hearted hits spanning pop, jazz and R&B." Indeed, Warwick's voice and manner were ideally suited to the sometimes coy, sometimes plaintive Bacharach-David tunes, and her work completed independently of that team has followed the same formula.

A Newsweek reporter described Warwick's style as "deliciously phrased, uncontrived and in a polished, flexible voice … a dazzling acrobatic display of vocal weightlessness, changing colors and dynamics with chilling impact." The reporter added, "Cushioning all her songs is an uncanny rhythmic sense…. Her body pulsates and twitches, and her voice seems somehow to swing to its own built-in rhythm section." In the Washington Post, William Rice observed that Warwick "can produce the impression of a 'soul singer's scream' without raising her voice and so practiced is her vocal control and her technical mastery that she glides from a gospel chant to a torchsinger's moan with disarming ease."

Warwick was born Marie Dionne Warrick in the comfortable middle-class community of Orange, New Jersey. She began her professional career as a gospel singer, working with the well-known Drinkard Singers and with her own group, the Gospelaires. Ironically, Warwick has claimed that she did not want to go into show business at all; instead, she wanted to teach music to schoolchildren. Her mother, Lee, managed the Drinkard Singers from a base at the New Hope Baptist Church in nearby Newark, and as a teenager Dionne was often called in as a substitute singer when a regular group member was missing. Warwick was also in her teens when she formed the Gospelaires with her sister Dee Dee and two cousins. Gospel, she told Newsweek, "is the Bible in the form of song. It's open prayer. Religion gives me comfort and complete freedom."

Discovered by Bacharach and David

Warwick attended Hartt College of Music on a scholarship, studying piano, voice, and music theory. Between terms she worked as a backup singer for Sam ("the Man") Taylor and the Drifters, among others. In 1959 Warwick was working on a Drifters recording when she caught the eye of Burt Bacharach, then a relatively unknown composer. "She was singing louder than everybody else," Bacharach told Ebony, "so I couldn't help noticing her. Not only was she clearly audible, but Dionne 'had something.' Just the way she carries herself, the way she works, her flow and feeling for the music—it was there when I first met her. She had, and still has, a kind of elegance, a grace that very few other people have." Bacharach and his partner, Hal David, invited Warwick to record some of their songs on demonstration records, and by 1961 the pretty young singer had signed a contract with Scepter Records. She had her first hit, "Don't Make Me Over," the following year. When the record company misspelled her name on a label, Marie Dionne Warrick became Dionne Warwick, and her fortunes began to rise.

Possessing a vocal style that alluded as much to Ella Fitzgerald as to classic soul, Warwick was as popular with listeners of adult contemporary as she was with dreamy-eyed teens. "I came along in an era when kids were tired of hearing songs that just said, 'Boo-boo-boo,'" Warwick told the New York Times. "I had a different kind of sound that was accepted by both the R&B audience and the pop audience." Young and old, white and black listeners alike, all responded to Warwick's gentle songs, and the passing decades have hardly dimmed the appeal of "Walk On By," "Alfie," "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" and "I'll Never Fall in Love Again." In four years during the 1960s the entertainer sold 12 million records and made the Top Forty charts 31 times. She also gave solo concerts in Europe and at New York's prestigious Philharmonic Hall at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. "Show business," Warwick told People, "became my life."

Revived Her Career at Arista

Warwick was at her commercial peak when she recorded the multi-genre smash "Then Came You" with the red hot funk and soul group the Spinners in 1974. However, pop careers are notoriously fragile, as Warwick discovered in 1975. First Bacharach and David dissolved their partnership, leaving Warwick with a five-record contract with Warner Brothers to fulfill. Then her marriage fell apart, and her husband sued for alimony. Warwick found herself immersed in legal battles with her former spouse and with Bacharach and David, whom she sued for breach of contract. She managed to release the contracted albums as planned, but as Wiseman noted, the efforts "bombed her into obscurity."

She was rescued from the slump by pop star/songwriter Barry Manilow, who produced her 1979 gold album Dionne for Clive Davis's Arista Records. The album contained two hit singles, the heartbreakingly wistful "I'll Never Love This Way Again" and the mysterious "Deja Vu."

For the Record …

Born Marie Dionne Warrick on December 12, 1941, in East Orange, NJ; daughter of Mancel (a butcher) and Lee (manager of a gospel group) Warrick; married William Elliott, 1967 (divorced, 1975); children: David, Damion. Education: Attended Hartt College of Music, Hartford, CT.

Gospel singer and organist with the Gospelaires and the Drinkard Singers, 1955–60; solo performer, 1960–; signed with Scepter Records, 1961; released first hit single, "Don't Make Me Over," 1962; had string of hit singles written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, including "Walk On By," "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" "What the World Needs Now (Is Love Sweet Love)"; signed with Arista Records, 1979, produced hits "I'll Never Love This Way Again," "Deja Vu," and "Heartbreaker"; with Stevie Wonder, recorded "That's What Friends Are For," 1986, to benefit AIDS research; had songs included in the soundtracks of such films as The Love Machine, The First Wives Club, and Isn't She Great, 1965–2000; made numerous television appearances, including The Ed Sullivan Show, The Red Skelton Show, Solid Gold, American Idol, and her own syndicated show Dionne and Friends (1990); hosted TV infomercials for the Psychic Friends Network, early 1990s; recorded for River North Records, 1998; co-founded Dionne Warwick Design Group Inc., 2002; wrote book My Point of View, 2003.

Awards: Grammy Awards for Best Female Vocal Performance, 1969, 1970, and 1980; Image Award, Entertainer of the Year, 1988; American Society of Young Musicians, Luminary Award, 1997; National Association of Record Merchandisers, Chairman's Award for Sustained Creative Achievement, 1998; Grammy Hall of Fame Award for "Walk On By," 1964; National History Makers of Chicago, named a History Maker, 2001; R&B Foundation, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2003.

Addresses: Booking—Red Entertainment Group, Attn. Carlos Keyes, 16 Penn Plaza, Ste. 824, New York, NY 10001; phone: (212) 563-7575, fax: (212) 563-9393. Website—Dionne Warwick Official Website: http://www.dionnewarwick.info.

On the strength of that comeback, Warwick was invited to host a weekly syndicated television music show, "Solid Gold." She worked on the show for a year in 1980–81, eventually parting on bad terms with its producers. Answering charges that she had been "temperamental" during filming, Warwick told Ebony, "I'm a perfectionist. I won't stand for less than the best…. What's wrong with that?" She eventually returned during the show's 1985–86 season.

Warwick returned to recording, this time working with ex-Bee Gee Barry Gibb. Her 1983 release, Heartbreaker, was yet another million seller. In 1986 Warwick lent her voice to a project to benefit AIDS research, producing the hit single "That's What Friends Are For," which raised millions of dollars for the cause. She claimed that her career was salvaged by a 1979 move to Arista Records. "Now, once again, everything is being done absolutely for me," she told Rolling Stone. "There's no overshadowing. I'm sitting on top of everything, which is the way it should be." The mother of two sons, Warwick lived in Beverly Hills. She rarely socialized with the Hollywood "party crowd," preferring a degree of discretion in her personal life.

Also an Entrepreneur

Warwick's days as a hitmaker came to an end during the late 1980s, although she continued to record popular albums for Arista into the 1990s. Her personal favorite was the 1995 release Aquarela Do Brazil, which precipitated her move to Brazil, where she now spends much of her leisure time. The artist's last chart single was a remake of Jackie DeShannon's 1965 hit "What the World Needs Now is Love," recorded with Hip-Hop Nation in 1998.

Still a popular entertainer, Warwick also hosted television infomercials for the Psychic Friends Network, and although she had always been sincere about her interest in psychic phenomenon, her association with the commercials made her somewhat of a laughing stock among non-believers.

When not performing at high profile charity events or with symphony orchestras worldwide, Warwick has proven to be a successful entrepreneur. She helped create Carr/Todd/Warwick Production Inc, a television and film company. The singer has also teamed with partner Bruce Garrick to form the Dionne Warwick Design Group Inc., a company that re-designs private estates and world class hotels. If that weren't enough, she markets her own skin care regimen and personal fragrance.

Yet there is no question that Warwick is still best known as a one-of-a-kind vocalist, something she prophetically acknowledged to People in 1979. "Talent will prevail," she remarked. "Nobody, bar none, can do what Dionne Warwick does."

Selected discography

Singles

"Don't Make Me Over," Scepter, 1963.
"This Empty Place," Scepter, 1963.
"Anyone Who Had a Heart," Scepter, 1963.
"Make the Music Play," Scepter, 1963.
"Walk On By," Scepter, 1964.
"A House is Not a Home," Scepter, 1964.
"You'll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart)," Scepter, 1964.
"Reach Out For Me," Scepter, 1964.
"Who Can I Turn To," Scepter, 1965.
"You Can Have Him," Scepter, 1965.
"Here I Am," Scepter, 1965.
"Looking With My Eyes," Scepter 1965.
"Are You There (with Another Girl)," Scepter, 1966.
"Message to Michael," Scepter, 1966.
"Trains Boats and Planes," Scepter, 1966.
"Another Night," Scepter, 1966.
"I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself," Scepter, 1966.
"Alfie," Scepter, 1967.
"The Windows of the World," Scepter, 1967.
"I Say a Little Prayer," Scepter, 1967.
"(Theme from) Valley of the Dolls," Scepter, 1967.
"The April Fools," Scepter, 1968.
"Do You Know the Way to San Jose," Scepter, 1968.
"Always Something There to Remind Me," Scepter, 1968.
"Promises, Promises," Scepter, 1968.
"This Girl's in Love with You," Scepter, 1969.
"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," Scepter, 1969.
"I'll Never Fall in Love Again," Scepter, 1970.
"Make it Easy on Yourself," Scepter, 1970.
"Paper Mache," Scepter, 1970.
"Let Me Go to Him," Scepter, 1970.
"Who Gets the Guy," Scepter, 1971.
(With the Spinners) "Then Came You," Atlantic, 1974.
"Take it From Me," Warner Bros, 1975.
"Once You Hit the Road," Warner Bros., 1975.
"I'll Never Love This Way Again," Arista, 1978.
"Deja Vu," Arista, 1979.
"After You," Arista, 1980.
"No Night So Long,"Arista, 1980.
"Some Changes Are For Good," Arista, 1981.
(With Johnny Mathis) "Friends in Love," Arisat, 1982.
"Heartbreaker," Arista, 1982.
"All the Love in the World," Arista, 1983.
(With Luther Vandross) "How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye," Arista, 1983.
"Take the Short Way Home," Arista, 1984.
"Finder of Lost Loves," Arista, 1985.
"Run to Me," Arista, 1985.
(With Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder) "That's What Friends Are For," Arista, 1985.
(With Jeffrey Osborne) "Love Power," Arista, 1987.
(With Kashif) "Reservations for Two," Arista, 1987.
"Another Chance to Love," Arista, 1988.

Albums

Presenting Dionne Warwick, Scepter, 1964.
Anyone Who Had a Heart, Scepter, 1964.
Make Way for Dionne Warwick, Scepter, 1964.
The Sensitive Sound of Dionne Warwick, Scepter, 1965.
Here I Am, Scepter, 1965.
Dionne Warwick in Paris, Scepter, 1966.
Here Where There Is Love, Scepter, 1967.
On Stage and in the Movies, Scepter, 1967.
Windows of the World, Scepter, 1967.
The Magic of Believing, Scepter, 1967.
Valley of the Dolls and Others, Scepter, 1968.
Soulful, Scepter, 1969.
Greatest Motion Picture Hits, Scepter, 1969.
Dionne Warwick's Golden Hits, Volume 1, Scepter, 1969.
Dionne Warwick's Golden Hits, Volume 2, Scepter, 1970.
I'll Never Fall in Love Again, Scepter, 1970.
Very Dionne, Scepter, 1971.
Promises, Promises, Scepter, 1971.
From Within, Volume 1, Scepter, 1972.
Dionne, Warner Brothers, 1973.
Just Being Myself, Warner Brothers, 1973.
Then Came You, Warner Brothers, 1975.
Track of the Cat, Warner Brothers, 1975.
Love at First Sight, Warner Brothers, 1977.
Dionne, Arista, 1979.
No Night So Long, Arista, 1980.
Hot! Live and Otherwise, Arista, 1981.
Heartbreaker, Arista, 1983.
Finder of Lost Loves, Arista, 1985.
Dionne and Friends, Arista, 1986.
Anthology, 1962–1971, Rhino, 1986.
Then Came You, Arista, 1986.
Masterpieces, Arista, 1986.
Reservations for Two, Arista, 1987.
Sings Cole Porter, Arista, 1990.
Friends Can Be Lovers, Arista, 1993.
Celebration in Vienna [Live], Arista/Sony, 1994.
Aquarela Do Brazil, Arista, 1995.
Dionne Sings Dionne, River North, 1998.
The Definitive Collection, Arista, 1999.
Soulful Plus, Rhino Handmade, 2004.
Love Songs, Arista/Legacy, 2005.
My Favorite Time of the Year, DMI, 2004.
Say a Little Prayer, DCC, 2004.
Me & My Friends, Concord, 2006.

Sources

Books

Rees, Dafydd, and Luke Crampton, VH1 Music First: Rock Stars Encyclopedia, DK, 1999; new rev. edition, 1995.

Nathan, David, The Soulful Divas, Billboard Books, 1998.

Whitburn, Joel, The Billboard Book of Top 40 R&B and Hip-Hop Hits, Billboard, 2006.

Periodicals

Ebony, May 1968; May 1983.

Newsday, May 12, 1969.

Newsweek, October 10, 1966.

New York Times, May 12, 1968.

People, October 15, 1979.

Rolling Stone, November 15, 1979.

Washington Post, December 22, 1967.

Online

"Dionne Warwick," All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (June 28, 2006).

"Dionne Warwick," Internet Movie Database, http://www.imdb.com (June 28, 2006).

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"Warwick, Dionne." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Warwick, Dionne

Dionne Warwick

Singer

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

The elegant Dionne Warwick was one of the first black recording artists to reach a mainstream pop audience that knew no racial or ethnic barriers. In the late 1960s Warwick sold a phenomenal twelve million albums and placed numerous singles in the Top Ten as the result of her association with quirky songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David. During those years, writes People magazine correspondent Rich Wiseman, Warwick was a red-hot singer of cold-hearted hits spanning pop, jazz and RB. Indeed, Warwicks voice and manner were ideally suited to the sometimes coy, sometimes plaintive Bacharach-David tunes, and her work independent of that team has followed the same formula.

A Newsweek reporter describes Warwicks style as deliciously phrased, uncontrived and in a polished, flexible voice that [is] deep purple below and sky-blue above a dazzling acrobatic display of vocal weightlessness, changing colors and dynamics with chilling impact. The reporter adds, Cushioning all her songs is an uncanny rhythmic sense. Her body pulsates and twitches, and her voice seems somehow to swing to its own built-in rhythm section. Her songs become dramatic monologues, building tensions until the wild finish. In the Washington Post, William makes a similar observation. According to Rice, Warwick can produce the impression of a soul singers scream without raising her voice and so practiced is her vocal control and her technical mastery that she glides from a gospel chant to a torchsingers moan with disarming ease.

It should come as no surprise that Warwick has perfected the gospel sound. She began her professional career as a gospel singer, working with the well-known Drinkard Singers and with her own group, the Gospelaires. Ironically, Warwick has claimed that she did not want to go into show business at all; instead, she wanted to teach music to schoolchildren. Warwick was born Marie Dionne Warrick in the comfortable middleclass community of Orange, New Jersey. Her mother, Lee, managed the Drinkard Singers from a base at the New Hope Baptist Church in nearby Newark, and as a teenager Dionne was often called in as a substitute singer when a regular group member was missing. Warwick was also in her teens when she formed the Gospelaires with her sister Dee Dee and two cousins. Gospel, she told Newsweek, is the Bible in the form of song. Its open prayer. Religion gives me comfort and complete freedom.

Warwick attended Hartt College of Music on a scholarship, studying piano, voice, and music theory. Between terms she worked as a backup singer for Sam ( the Man) Taylor and the Drifters, among others. In 1959

For the Record

Name originally Marie Dionne Warrick; born December 12, 1941, in East Orange, N.J.; daughter of Mancel (a butcher) and Lee (manager of a gospel group) Warrick; married Bill Elliott, 1967 (divorced, 1975); children: David, Damion. Education: Attended Hartt College of Music, Hartford, Conn.

Gospel singer and organist with the Gospelaires and the Drinkard Singers, 195560; solo performer, 1960. Signed with Scepter Records, 1961; released first hit single, Dont Make Me Over, 1962. Had string of hit singles written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, including Walk On By, Do You Know the Way to San Jose? What the World Needs Now (Is Love Sweet Love), Message to Michael, and Ill Never Fall in Love Again. Signed with Arista Records, 1979, produced hits Ill Never Love This Way Again, Deja Vu, and Heartbreaker. With Stevie Wonder, recorded Thats What Friends Are For, 1986, to benefit medical research on AIDS.

Has made numerous television and film appearances, including The Ed Sullivan Show, The Red Skelton Show, Solid Gold (host, 1981), and A Gift of Music. Star of The Dionne Warwick Special.

Awards: Recipient of Grammy Awards for best female vocal performance, 1969, 1970, and 1980.

Addresses: Office c/o 6464 Sunset Blvd., #1030, Hollywood, CA 90028.

Warwick was working on a Drifters recording when she caught the eye of Burt Bacharach, then a relatively unknown composer. She was singing louder than everybody else, Bacharach told Ebony, so I couldnt help noticing her. Not only was she clearly audible, but Dionne had something. Just the way she carries herself, the way she works, her flow and feeling for the musicit was there when I first met her. She had, and still has, a kind of elegance, a grace that very few other people have. Bacharach and his partner, Hal David, invited Warwick to record some of their songs on demonstration records, and by 1961 the pretty young singer had signed a contract with Scepter Records. She had her first hit, Dont Make Me Over, the following year. When the record company misspelled her name on a label, Marie Dionne Warrick became Dionne Warwick, and her fortunes began to rise.

I came along in an era when kids were tired of hearing songs that just said, Boo-boo-boo, Warwick told the New York Times. I had a different kind of sound that was accepted by both the RB audience and the pop audience. Young and old, white and black listeners alike responded to Warwicks gentle songsand two decades have hardly dimmed the appeal of Walk On By, Alfie, Do You Know the Way to San Jose? and Ill Never Fall in Love Again. In four years the entertainer sold twelve million records and made the Top Forty charts thirty-one times. She also gave solo concerts in Europe and at New Yorks prestigious Philharmonic Hall in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Show Warwick told People, became my life.

Pop careers are notoriously fragile, as Warwick discovered in 1975. First, Bacharach and David dissolved their partnership, leaving Warwick with a five-record contract to fulfill. Then her marriage fell apart, and her husband sued for alimony. Warwick found herself immersed in legal battles with her former spouse and with Bacharach and David, whom she sued for breach of contract. She managed to release the contracted albums as planned, but as Wiseman notes, the efforts bombed her into obscurity. She was rescued from the slump by Barry Manilow, who produced gold album, Dionne. The album contained two hit singles, Ill Never Love This Way Again and the mysterious Deja Vu.

On the strength of that comeback, Warwick was invited to host a weekly syndicated music show, Solid Gold. She worked on the show for a year, eventually parting on bad terms with its producers. Answering charges that she had been temperamental during filming, Warwick told Ebony, Im a perfectionist. I wont stand for less than the best. Whats wrong with that? Warwick returned to recording, this time working with ex-Bee Gee Barry Gibb. Her 1983 release, Heartbreaker, was yet another million seller.

More recently, Warwick lent her voice to a project to benefit AIDS research, producing the hit single Thats What Friends Are For. She claims that her career was salvaged by a 1979 move to Arista Records. Now, once again, everything is being done absolutely for me, she old Rolling Stone. Theres no overshadowing. Im sitting on top of everything, which is the way it should be. The mother of two sons, Warwick lives in a Beverly Hills mansion. She rarely socializes with the Hollywood party crowd, preferring a degree of discretion in her personal life. After more than two decades as a top performer, Warwick feels secure in her ability and confident about her future. Talent will prevail, she told People. Nobody, bar none, can do what Dionne Warwick does.

Selected discography

Presenting Dionne Warwick, Scepter, 1964.

Anyone Who Had a Heart, Scepter, 1964.

Make Way for Dionne Warwick, Scepter, 1964.

The Sensitive Sound of Dionne Warwick, Scepter, 1965.

Here I Am, Scepter, 1965.

Dionne Warwick in Paris, Scepter, 1966.

Here Where There Is Love, Scepter, 1967.

On Stage and in the Movies, Scepter, 1967.

Windows of the World, Scepter, 1967.

The Magic of Believing, Scepter, 1967.

Valley of the Dolls and Others, Scepter, 1968.

Soulful, Scepter, 1969.

Greatest Motion Picture Hits, Scepter, 1969.

Dionne Warwicks Golden Hits, Volume 1, Scepter, 1969.

Dionne Warwicks Golden Hits, Volume 2, Scepter, 1970.

Ill Never Fall in Love Again, Scepter, 1970.

Very Dionne, Scepter, 1971.

Promises, Promises, Scepter, 1971.

From Within, Volume 1, Scepter, 1972.

Dionne, Warner Brothers, 1973.

Just Being Myself, Warner Brothers, 1973.

Then Came You, Warner Brothers, 1975.

Track of the Cat, Warner Brothers, 1975.

Love at First Sight, Warner Brothers, 1977.

Dionne, Arista, 1979.

No Night So Long, Arista, 1980.

Hot! Live and Otherwise, Arista, 1981.

Heartbreaker, Arista, 1983.

Finder of Lost Loves, Arista.

Dionne and Friends, Arista, 1986.

Anthology, 1962-1971, Rhino, 1986.

Then Came You, Arista, 1986.

Masterpieces, Arista, 1986.

Reservations for Two, Arista, 1987.

Sources

Ebony, May, 1968; May, 1983.

Newsday, May 12, 1969.

Newsweek, October 10, 1966.

New York Times, May 12, 1968.

People, October 15, 1979.

Rolling Stone, November 15, 1979.

Washington Post, December 22, 1967.

Anne Janette Johnson

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"Warwick, Dionne." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Warwick, Dionne." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/warwick-dionne