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Dionne Warwick


Her vocal delivery was a defining sound of 1960s cool, with an effortless delivery and soulful tone.

Dionne Warwick is one of the towering figures of popular music. Raised in a family of gospel singers, she received extensive formal vocal training as a young girl. A trip for her sixteenth birthday to see Lena Horne perform at the Waldorf Astoria would prove to be a career-defining moment. Reflecting on this experience in 1996, Warwick recalled, “It was probably the greatest influence on me.” Soon after her debut in 1962, Warwick made an indelible impact by joining forces with iconic songwriting team Burt Bachrach and Hal David. Warwick’s vocal stylings exquisitely complemented the songwriters’ unique and idiosyncratic compositions, her voice as sophisticated as their staccato arrangements and time changes. Her vocal delivery was a defining sound of 1960s cool, with an effortless delivery and soulful tone. Songs like “Walk On By” and “I Say a Little Prayer for You” transported the listener to a different place.


In 1974, Warwick teamed up with the Spinners on the number one smash hit “Then Came You,” a song that perfectly encapsulated the sound of disco in the mid-1970s. 1979 saw another huge hit with the Barry Manilow-produced “I’ll Never Love This Way Again,” earning Warwick her third Best Female Pop Performance Grammy. In the 1980s and 1990s, she sang duets with Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, and Johnny Mathis, among others; the biggest of these – the 1987 number one hit “That’s What Friends Are For” – featured Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and Gladys Knight.


More accolades and Grammys followed – six in total, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. Warwick continues to tour and became a Twitter sensation in 2021. Witty exchanges with Chance the Rapper spawned a collaboration between the two, an inspiring duet entitled “Nothing’s Impossible,” and in 2023 a documentary on Warwick’s life and career, Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over, further cemented her legacy. Dionne Warwick’s innovation in song interpretation, combined with a seemingly flawless ability to stay relevant, have made her a mainstay in popular music history.

Selected Discography

“Don’t Make Me Over,” Presenting Dionne Warwick (1963) • “Walk On By,” Make Way for Dionne Warwick (1964) • The Sensitive Sound of Dionne Warwick (1965) • “I Say a Little Prayer,” The Windows of the World (1967) • “Message to Michael,” Dionne Warwick in Paris (1966) • I’ll Never Fall in Love Again (1969) • “Then Came You” (1974) • “I’ll Never Love This Way Again,” Dionne (1979) • “That’s What Friends Are For,” Friends (1985)


Mary J. Blige