... he died on July 4, 2003 from renal failure after suffering from high blood pressure for many years.
Born Barry Eugene Carter in Galveston, Texas, Barry grew up in South Central Los Angeles - a noted high crime area. At age 17, he was jailed for four months for stealing $30,000 worth of Cadillac tires.
The marginal success he had to that point was as a songwriter. His songs were recorded by rock singer Bobby Fuller and TV bubblegum act The Banana Splits. He was also responsible in 1963 for arranging "Harlem Shuffle" for Bob & Earl, which became a hit in the UK in 1969.
In 1972, he got his big break producing a girl group he had discovered called Love Unlimited. Love Unlimited's "From a Girl's Point of View" became a million-seller. Eager to work with a male act, he made three song demos of himself singing and playing the piano - even though he suffered from stage fright. The record became the first Barry White album in 1973; I've Got So Much to Give. It included the title track and "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby," which rose to #1 on the R&B charts, and #3 on the Pop charts.
Other chart hits by White include "Never, Never Gonna Give You Up, "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe," "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" and "What Am I Gonna Do with You?" White also had a strong following in the UK where he scored five Top 10 hits and one Number 1 ("You're The First.")
Although White's success on the pop charts slowed down as the disco era came to an end, he maintained a loyal following throughout his career. A five-time Grammy Award-winner, Barry was admired for the unique blend of soul and classical orchestral musical elements he created, White was often affectionately referred to as the "Maestro," "The Man with the Velvet Voice" and "The Walrus of Love." He was also referred to as "The Sultan of Smooth Soul," in recognition of his smooth and melodic bass voice.
On September 20, 2004, he was posthumously inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame.