To be given the birth name Minnie, and then grow up to have such a magnanimous voice is simply awesome. Blessed with a five-octave vocal range, Minnie Riperton had the ability to sing in a whistler register, which is the highest register of the human voice. It’s no wonder Mariah Carey has said that Minnie was her idol and inspiration. In Minnie’s most famous hit “Lovin’ You” I always thought at the end of the song she was singing “My-Oh, My-Oh” when really she was saying her daughter’s name Maya over and over again. Maya Rudolph, that is, from Saturday Night Live fame. What a sweet tribute to include her in that song.
*In 1979 President Jimmy Carter decreed that June would be Black Music Month. Three decades later in 2009 President Barack Obama revamped the title and declared June African-American Music Appreciation Month. Each day this month I am turning up the volume on an artist or song brought to you by the letter R. Enjoy!*