Riperton as a child, studied music, ballet, and drama at Lincoln Center in Chicago and was a trained to become an opera singer. In preparation for a career in operettas and show tunes, she studied under Marion Jeffery. Emphasis was given in diction, breathing, and phrasing. At age 15, Riperton sang lead vocals with the girl group, the Gems. On the night of December 26, , she was presented by Ramsey Lewis as a solo artist at the famed London House in Chicago at which time she performed several selections from the album. Although the album did not achieve much commercial success, it is considered by music critics as a masterpiece. Riperton worked with Stevie Wonder as a member of his backing band Wonderlove. The song topped the Billboard pop chart in the spring of Minnie Riperton possessed an innate coloratura soprano vocal range giving her the ability to sing in a whistle register, producing a sound almost mechanical.
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The tragic death of year-old Minnie Riperton in silenced one of soul music's most unique and unforgettable voices. Blessed with an angelic five-octave vocal range, she scored her greatest commercial success with the chart-topping pop ballad "Lovin' You. As a youth she studied music, drama, and dance at the city's Abraham Lincoln Center and later contemplated a career in opera. Her pop career began in when she joined a local group called the Gems , signing to the famed Chess label to release a handful of singles as well as lend backing vocals to acts including Fontella Bass , the Dells , and Etta James. After graduating high school, Riperton went to work at Chess as a receptionist. Following the Gems ' dissolution, she also signed with the label as a solo act, releasing a single, "Lonely Girl," under the alias Andrea Davis. In , Riperton was installed as the lead vocalist of the psychedelic soul band Rotary Connection , which debuted that year with a self-titled LP on Cadet Concept.
Her No. As part of the group Rotary Connection, Ripperton graduated from being the front-of-house girl at Chess to a becoming a member of one of the first black psych groups, whose ranks included the great Blue Thumb artist and guitarist Phil Upchurch. That grounding made her a natural for the solo life. With a post-Motown atmosphere and a much slicker emphasis on musicianship, Ripperton was one of the first female soul singers to utilise synths and early programming. There was a posthumous album, Love Lives Forever , and but a few choice compilations, but they are not enough.