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Patti Austin (born August 10, 1950) is an American R&B, pop, and jazz singer.

Patti Austin
Patti Austin 2000.jpg
Austin in 2000
Background information
Born (1950-08-10) August 10, 1950 (age 69)
Harlem, New York, U.S.
GenresR&B, pop, jazz
Occupation(s)Singer
Years active1955–present
LabelsCTI, Qwest, GRP, Shanachie
Websitepattiaustin.com

Music careerEdit

1960s–1980sEdit

Austin was born in Harlem, New York, to Gordon Austin, a jazz trombonist.[1] She was raised in Bay Shore, New York on Long Island.[2] Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington have referred to themselves as her godparents.[3]

When Austin was four years old, she made her debut at the Apollo Theater and the next year had a contract with RCA. During the 1960s, she was a session musician who sang background vocals and commercial jingles. She was known as "Queen of the Jingles," appearing on commercials for Almay, Avon, Burger King, Impulse, KFC, Maxwell House, McDonald's, Meow Mix, Stouffer's, and the United States Army.

In 1969, her single "Family Tree" reached the Top 50 of the R&B chart. The jazz label CTI released her debut album, End of a Rainbow, in 1976. Two years later she sang on the song "Love Light" by Japanese musician Yutaka Yokokura. She and Michael Jackson performed a duet on "It's the Falling in Love", which appeared on his album Off the Wall, and in 1980 she and jazz guitarist George Benson performed a duet on "Moody's Mood for Love". She provided vocals for Roberta Flack, Angela Bofill, and Noel Pointer.[4]

In 1981, Austin sang on the album The Dude by Quincy Jones and on the single "Razzmatazz". She signed a contract with his record label, Qwest, which released Every Home Should Have One containing "Baby, Come to Me", a duet with James Ingram that became a No. 1 hit on the Billboard magazine pop chart. A second duet with Ingram, "How Do You Keep the Music Playing", appeared on soundtrack to the movie Best Friends (1982).[4] Her next album, Gettin' Away with Murder, produced two hit singles: "Honey for the Bees" (No. 24 R&B and No. 6 Dance) and "The Heat of Heat". The album was produced by Russ Titelman, Tommy LiPuma, Monte Moir, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis with background vocals by Jocelyn Brown, Dan Hartman, Billy Joel, Chaka Khan, and Luther Vandross. She sang on "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme", a collaboration with producer Narada Michael Walden, that reached the R&B chart. Her album The Real Me contained jazz standards produced by David Pack of the band Ambrosia.

1990s–presentEdit

 
Patti Austin sings with the Moscow Jazz Orchestra at the Sochi Jazz Festival in Russia in August 2017.

Austin was scheduled to be on United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, but because her mother suffered a stroke days before, she cancelled her ticket and flew at a different time.[5]

In 2002, she recorded the album For Ella, a tribute to jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald.[4] In 2003, she collaborated with Frances Yip on Papillon III in the rotunda of San Francisco City Hall to help the Jade Ribbon Campaign of Stanford University. A companion CD/DVD was released with Austin and Yip singing duets in Mandarin.[6]

During a 2007 interview, Austin spoke of reluctantly attending as a teenager one of Judy Garland's last concerts and how the experience helped focus her career. "She ripped my heart out. I wanted to interpret a lyric like that, to present who I was at the moment through the lyric."[7]

In 2011, Sound Advice was released containing cover versions of Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody", Brenda Russell's "A Little Bit of Love", the Jackson Five's "Give It Up", Bill Withers' "Lean on Me", and Don McLean's "Vincent". The album also included "The Grace of God", a song Austin wrote after watching an episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show which included a woman with scarred face. Austin appeared in the documentary film 20 Feet from Stardom, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was released on 21 June 2013.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Patti Austin among hundreds of artists whose material was destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.[8]

Awards and honorsEdit

DiscographyEdit

Studio albumsEdit

Year Album Chart positions[11][12][13] Record label
US US
R&B
US
Jazz
UK
1976 End of a Rainbow 31 CTI
1977 Havana Candy 116
1980 Body Language 62 28
1981 Every Home Should Have One 36 16 9 99 Qwest
1984 Patti Austin 87
1985 Gettin' Away with Murder 182 25
1988 The Real Me 56 7
1990 Love Is Gonna Getcha 93 45 4 GRP
1991 Carry On 75 13
1994 That Secret Place 12
1996 Jukebox Dreams (Japan Only) Pony Canyon
1998 In & Out of Love Concord Vista
1999 Street of Dreams Intersound/Platinum
2001 On the Way to Love 21 Warner Bros.
2002 For Ella 7 Playboy Jazz
2007 Avant Gershwin 5 Rendezvous
2011 Sound Advice 15 Shanachie
"—" denotes the album failed to chart and/or was not released in that territory

Live albumsEdit

Year Album Chart positions[11][12][13] Record label
US US
R&B
US
Jazz
UK
1979 Live at the Bottom Line 33 CTI
1992 Live 20 GRP
2017 Ella and Louis ABC Jazz
"—" denotes the album failed to chart and/or was not released in that territory

SinglesEdit

Year Single Peak positions Album
US R&B US Hot 100 US A.C US Dance UK
1965 "I Wanna Be Loved / A Most Unusual Boy" 45 (Coral 45 #62471)
1966 "Take Away The Pain Stain" 45 (Coral 45 #62491)
1969 "The Family Tree" 45
1971 "Black California" (Columbia 45 #45410)
1972 "Day by Day" (Columbia 45 #45592)
1977 "Say You Love Me" 63 End of a Rainbow
1978 "Love, I Never Had It So Good" 60 Sounds...and Stuff Like That!!
1978 "We're in Love" 90 Havana Candy
1980 "Body Language" 45 Body Language
1981 "Do You Love Me?" / "The Genie" 24 1 76 Every Home Should Have One
1981 "Razzamatazz" (w/ Quincy Jones) 17 11 The Dude
"Betcha Wouldn't Hurt Me" (w/ Quincy Jones) 52 The Dude
1981 "Every Home Should Have One" 55 62 24 Every Home Should Have One
1982 "Baby, Come to Me" (w/ James Ingram) 9 1 1 11 Every Home Should Have One
1983 "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" (w/ James Ingram) 6 45 5 Duets
1983 "In My Life" 92 In My Life
1984 "It's Gonna Be Special" 15 82 5 Patti Austin
Two of a Kind original soundtrack
1984 "Rhythm of the Street" 11 96 Patti Austin
1984 "Shoot the Moon" 49 16 Patti Austin
1985 "Honey for the Bees" 24 6 Gettin' Away with Murder
1985 "Gettin' Away with Murder" 72 Gettin' Away with Murder
1985 "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme" (w/ Narada Michael Walden) 87 The Nature of Things
1986 "The Heat of Heat" 13 55 14 76 Gettin' Away with Murder
1990 "Through the Test of Time" 60 9 Love Is Gonna Getcha
1991 "Givin' Into Love" 55 Carry On
1992 "I'll Keep Your Dreams Alive" (w/ George Benson) 68
1994 "Reach" 4 That Secret Place
"—" denotes the single failed to chart and/or was not released in that format

FilmographyEdit

Year Film Role
1978 The Wiz The Wiz Singers Children's Choir / The Wiz Singers Adult Choir (voice)
1988 Tucker: The Man and his Dream Millie
2013 20 Feet from Stardom Herself

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Patti Austin - biography". encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  2. ^ The New Patti Austin Retrieved 2014-09-23.
  3. ^ Murph, John. "Patti Austin: 5 Tips for Aspiring Singers". aarp.org. AARP. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  4. ^ a b c Wynn, Ron. "Patti Austin". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  5. ^ White, Beverly; Brayton, Julie. "Singer Patti Austin Talks About 9/11 Experience". NBC Los Angeles. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  6. ^ Engardio, Joel P. (May 22, 2002). "Dim Sum Diva". SF Weekly. San Francisco.
  7. ^ "Topic Galleries". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
  8. ^ Rosen, Jody (June 25, 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  9. ^ "Patti Austin". Grammy.com. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  10. ^ "Jazz Beat: Sonny Rollins, Herb Alpert, Thelonious Monk". MTV News. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  11. ^ a b "Patti Austin US chart history". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2010-06-14.
  12. ^ a b "Patti Austin US chart history". billboard.com. Retrieved 2010-06-14.
  13. ^ a b "Patti Austin Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2010-06-14.

External linksEdit