A lot of folks might not know just how Barry White became such a successful love song musician, but it’s a far cry from what some might want to believe. As a kid he was the same kind of squeaky-voiced adolescent that many are when they become a pre-teen and then a teenager. But at the age of 14 his voice deepened and his mother knew that he’d become a man since he spoke in such a deep voice. Despite that however he didn’t begin singing early on his life. Instead he was part of a gang while living in LA, and was quite the troublemaker during his early days. Barry’s brother, who was 13 months younger than him, lost his life during a clash with a rival gang, and Barry was went to sent to jail at the age of 16 for stealing $30,000 worth of Cadillac tires. For a lot of young men that might be the end of things but something happened in jail that turned Barry White around.
Going to jail was the first thing that happened, as that was horrible enough. But while he was in jail he started listening to Elvis Presley and got to hear the song It’s Now or Never, and it ended up getting through to him. Once he got out of jail he left the gang life behind and focused on a music career as he made his way into the industry. In the 1960’s he started making singles and working small labels in order get his name out there. By the 1970’s he’d already become a hit and was trying his hand at producing, which made him even more popular as time went on. He would go back and forth from producing albums to taking to care of his solo career, and would eventually make his way into film and TV.
His rich, deep voice became synonymous with love songs, as his voice was just so mellow that it was easy to listen to and groove along with on the dance floor. For quite a while, and still to this day, Barry White songs are considered to be one of the ultimate tracks to play while on a date or at a school function. There’s just something about the deep, bass-baritone voice that women seem to love, and it’s great for slow-dancing.
Unfortunately while White was one of the most popular singers of all time his health was never that great. He fought obesity for years and often suffered from health-related problems that couldn’t be avoided. During the last few years of his life he had to cancel shows and tours in order to recover from one ailment or another. He passed away not long after suffering a stroke in 2003. While he is sorely missed as of this day his music still lives on and is still just as inspirational and as moving as it always was. To think that someone that was formerly involved with gang activities could turn his life around in such a manner is hard to fathom, but it carries a lot of hope for others.