From The Vault: Minnie Riperton – ‘Reasons’

Published: Sunday 1st May 2011 by Trent

Long before Mariah Carey catapulted to the top of the charts on the the wings of her famed 5+ octave vocal range, there was another singer who mastered the extreme limitations of the human voice. That woman was Minnie Riperton and this week’s From The Vault provides a glimpse of her incredible skill.

This performance of the song ‘Reasons’ on the iconic TV show ‘Soul Train’ displays Riperton’s utterly flawless voice. A criminally underrated artist, she was best known for the success of her classic single ‘Lovin’ You’. However, those of us who had the privilege of hearing her entire catalogue know that Riperton was capable of much more.

Thankfully, Riperton was able to leave her mark on the industry before her death at the age of 31 in 1979. Credited for introducing the use of the whistle register to mainstream music, she influenced her peers and followers alike including Stevie Wonder, Leona Lewis, Chante Moore and Michael Jackson. In fact, Carey regularly refers to Riperton as biggest influence on her singing style (whistles, whispery tones).

Long live Riperton! Every time one of us tries to hit a high note in the shower or the car, we have her to thank for our aching vocal cords.

Thoughts?

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  1. MARIAH LAMB 4LIFE May 1, 2011

    MARIAH CAREY >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> EVERY F****** SINGLE ONE OF YOUR FAVES

  2. Topman May 1, 2011

    True legend!

  3. MARIAH LAMB 4LIFE May 1, 2011

    RIP MINNIE

    WE, THE LAMBS WILL BE FOREVER GRATEFUL FOR INFLUENCING OUR QUEEN – MARIAH

  4. D.Strock May 1, 2011

    I loved watching the people in the audience. #toofunny

  5. Mrmister May 1, 2011

    Great article Trent

  6. Andreas Greece UK May 1, 2011

    So funny, this author instead of complimenting Mariah has to take a shot in order to praise another singer.

    That is not classy.

    Leona lewis, Stevie Wonder and MJ have all said Mariah was a huge or the influence in their music.

    Mariah carey made the whistle note into a piece of artistry. No one has had a bigger impact than mariah.

    RIP MINNIE.

  7. Mr. T May 1, 2011

    Nuttin like some ole school music

  8. mgaskwater May 1, 2011

    Love her.

  9. ole skool May 1, 2011

    Minnie >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Mariah sorry there is no comparison in terms of talent.

  10. Your Mom May 1, 2011

    @Ole School What?! That made no sense. Not taking anything away from Miss Ripperton but you made it seem like MC is a chump or something.

  11. Bdaboss May 1, 2011

    Minnie could actually reproduce those notes live. A true talent. I wonder where she would be in her career if she were still alive today. Disclaimer: This was in no way shape or form of a diss to Mariah Carey. Mariah is an awesome vocalist as well.

  12. HOP-SCOTCH May 1, 2011

    MINNIE RIPERTON IS A SOUL/R’n’B LEGEND>>>>>>>MARIAH CAREY IS IN THE TOP TEN OF THE WORLDS BEST SELLING ARTISTS

    1.The Beatles – WORLDWIDE CLAIMED SALES =

    600 MILLION – 1 F****** BILLION

    2.ELVIS PRESLEY – 600 MILLION – 1 BILLION

    3. MICHAEL JACKSON – 400 – 750 MILION

    4.ABBA – 300 – 370 MILLION

    5.MADOONA – 275 – 300 MILLION

    6.LED ZEPPELIN – 200 – 300 MILLION

    7.QUEEN – 150 – 300 MILLION

    8.ELTON JOHN – 250 MILLION

    9.>>>MARIAH CAREY<<< – 200 MILLION

    Mariah is a LEGEND ALSO…….IM SICK OF THESE PEOPLE DEMONIZING LEGENDS SUCH AS THESE TO THE 21ST CENTURY TRASH ARTISTS WE HAVE TODAY.
    I'm not a hypocrite, I like BEYONCE & RIHANNA – Whether people say they have talent or not IS A LIAR…When a commenter on here produces 10 number one singles (Ri…) or accumalates 75 MILLION ALBUMS SOLD AROUND THE WORLD such as Beyonce – THEN………………………………………….

    In a few posts ago, somebody said to me that "KE$HA IS A BETTER ARTIST THAN MARIAH" – DPMO!

    @MARIAH LAMB4LIFE – I AGREE – BUT I DO LIKE BEYONCE AND RI…LMAO!

  13. Chimpy May 1, 2011

    Minnie was amazing!

  14. Vegas girl May 1, 2011

    Yay Minnie. back when I was really young, I used to take my moms old Minnie album and try to sing like her…. Hah!! that was comical trying to hit those notes!

    Love Minnie, love chante, love Mariah and all my high note songbirds.

  15. UGh May 1, 2011

    r.i.p hun . gone to soon.

  16. JohnVidal May 1, 2011

    I know she is one of the artists that influenced Mariah the most and I have to say I don´t know her catalogue a lot minus a few songs or performances but I don´t think she is a better artist than Mariah at all. Just my opinion, no one should be offended. Mariah is really great you know.
    Like someone else has said on here she is really one of the greats, she has the vocals and the music in her and a great catalogue you know right? This goes for all those stans of the 21th century crap girls that think just cos their favorites are relevant on itunes right now they are similar to the greats or something… lol

  17. Neickha May 1, 2011

    Minnies daughter Mya Rudolph is an amazing actress. She played on SNL and is currently starring in the Movie “Brides Maid”.

    Minnies voice was beyond amazing. And Mariah is amazing too.

  18. royalkev May 1, 2011

    I don’t think anyone is taking anything away from Mariah, you just have to learn to have an appreciation for those that came before her. Minnie obviously was a treasure to her generation and was gone too soon (just like the great Aaliyah).

    ThePagewithroyalkev.blogspot.com

  19. BAA May 1, 2011

    RIP MINNIE. LOL At some people. Many people will always put Minnie before Mariah, because she was the first to really popularize the whistle notes. This has nothing to do with throwing shade at Mariah. Mariah herself would probably put Minnie before her. Mariah has just sold more records and has made the whistle notes popular. If Minnie was a live today, she would probably be the one known for whistle notes but we dont dont know that. Also i wish people would stop putting Beyonce and Rihanna together. One has sold a lot of records and has talent, u cant find in todays industry, with critical awards achievements, an icon and has longevity. The other has also sold a lot of records with many number ones and has semi talent. One has already went down, as one of the greatest of all time. There is no comparison.

  20. HOP-SCOTCH May 1, 2011

    @BAAA

    Stop saying “Some People” – Its clear your comment is directed towards me…….I’m not going to jump out the computer and TEAR you up, so dont be afraid!

    You should have said @HOP-SCOTCH

  21. BAA May 2, 2011

    LMAO @Hop Scotch Chile please. I didnt know who said what, i was just reading the comments and saw somebody said that. I dont give a damn, because if i wanted to, direct it to u, i wouldve said hop scotch. So clearly u didnt matter, if i didnt notice ur little name. SO GOODBYE BISH!

  22. JohnVidal May 2, 2011

    Sorry but Beyonce is not one of the greatest of all time….. that is ridiculous
    Exactly for what type of musical material???

  23. BAA May 2, 2011

    [email protected] Johndival Honey clearly that is your opinion and mines is a fact. She is one the greatest performers of all time. Many industry insiders has said it and ur fav probably have said too. Look it up Bish!*DISMISSED!*

  24. JohnVidal May 2, 2011

    @BAA
    Relax your facts!
    Of course Beyonce is better than Rihanna.
    But she is not a better musician (how could she be if she doesn´t write?) than Carey or so many others mate, you are too narrow minded. Do u really think Bey is better than Queen, Beatles, U2, Elton John, etc etc… and comparing her with people who also don´t write their songs: do u think she has released better material than Whitney, Celine, Aretha, etc etc…
    She is a great performer yes I know!

  25. HUDSON MORRIGAN May 2, 2011

    Minnie was such a beautiful singer, incredibly beautiful voice
    Without Minnie there wouldn’t be a Mariah Carey, at least not how we know her.

  26. BAA May 2, 2011

    [email protected] Honey u are a mess. What are u talking about? Stay on the subject. I didnt say anything about her being a better artist than the Beatles, Celine, Whitney, MJ or Queen. I simply said people need to stop comparing her to Rihanna, when clearly one is more influential than other and an icon. I dont know what the hell u are talking about. Stay away from the drugs OK! And what the hell does writing a song have to do with her not being a betta artist than them. Nothing! Exactly! I dont care what u say but she already has went down as one of the greats and will soon pass some of the ones u name. GOODBYE!

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