Today In Music History: Minnie Riperton Died Of Cancer - July 12, 1979

Minnie Riperton Afro Singer

Today In Music History:

1979: American singer songwriter Minnie Julia Riperton-Rudolph died of cancer aged 31.

Born in 1947, Riperton grew up in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side.

She studied music, drama and dance as a youth at Chicago's Lincoln Center.

In her teen years, she sang lead vocals for the Chicago-based girl group the Gems.

She worked at Chess records singing backup for various artists such as Etta James, Fontella Bass, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters.

She also sang lead for Rotary Connection, an experimental rock & soul group from 1967 to 1971.

She worked with Stevie as a member of Wonderlove in 1973, a backup group for him.

Her hit song 'Loving You' gave Minnie a US No.1 single in 1975.

It was produced by Stevie Wonder.

In January 1976, Riperton was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a radical mastectomy.

She was one of the first celebrities to go public with her breast cancer diagnosis but did not disclose the terminal state of her illness.

In 1977, she became an official spokesperson for the American Cancer Society.

She died of breast cancer, on July 12, 1979.

May she live forever in our hearts through her music!

RIP Minnie Riperton!

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