Legendary soul singer Barry White died in Los Angeles at the age of 58, after a long illness.
White's trademark deep, rich vocals made him a favorite in the world of soul music. From his first international hit, Love's Theme, in 1973, White sang almost exclusively on what he described as "the only subject on planet earth - lurve between fellow human beings”.
The peak of his popularity was in the 1970s characterized by his theme tune and only British number one, “You're The First, My Last, My Everything,” and “Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe”. He received recognition for his lifelong contribution to music in 2000 when he won his first two Grammys for best male and tradition R&B vocal performance for the song Staying Power. Despite being unable to read or write music, White sold more than 100 million records.
Born Sept. 12, 1944, in Galveston, Texas, to a single mother, White and his younger brother, Darryl, spent most of their childhood in south central Los Angeles. He said he had a lifelong love for music. During his early teenage years, he began singing in a Baptist church choir and was quickly promoted to director.
He spent four months as a teenager in jail for stealing tyres which convinced him to enter the music industry in 1960. White joined the Upfronts soul group as bass singer but after releasing six singles he stayed away from performing and focused on working as a producer. He first found commercial success as a producer and arranger with a singing trio Love Unlimited, which included his wife, Glodean and produced their million-selling 1972 single "Walkin' in the Rain With the One I Love."
He had his own first solo hit in 1973 - I'm Going to Love You Just a Little Bit More, Baby which topped the R&B chart and hit No 3 on the pop chart. In 1974, his album "Can't Get Enough" sat at the top of the pop charts thanks to his biggest hits "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" and "You're the First, the Last, My Everything".
During the 1990s, a new generation discovered his songs and he became a major influence on contemporary stars like Lisa Stansfield, with whom he recorded a duet in 1992. In 1995 he appeared in episodes of the Simpsons and Ally McBeal and contributed to the Ally McBeal soundtrack with a re-recording of "You're the First, the Last, My Everything".
He was the voice of "make out" music. His 1975 song "Love Serenade" began with the lyrics: "I want you the way you came into the world/ I don't want to feel no clothes ..."