Ms. Dionne Warwick has remained a top concert draw since the late ’60s, not bad for a woman who has a string of gold-selling albums, Top 10 & Top 20 singles. Raised in E. Orange, New Jersey, Dionne Warwick pursued her passion for music at the Hart College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut. Coming from a very accomplished and talented family where many of the members were part of a well-known gospel group called The Drinkard Singers
They performed regularly throughout the New York area and eventually, Elvis Presley expressed an interest in having them be part of his cortege. With too many songs to name, Ms. Warwick’s voice is unusual in several respects, her effortless vocals as she enunciates every word in a crystal clear tone that makes each song she sings flow so well. From her discovery, by singer, songwriter and composer Burt Bacharach who once stated in an article to “Time” magazine, “She has a tremendous strong side and a delicacy when singing softly — like miniature ships in bottles.” Musically, she was “no play-safe girl. After her discovery by Bacharach, the hits never stopped coming.
Now back, with her new album released on May 10, called “SHE’S BACK“. The multiple Grammy award-winning Songtress, R&B Hall of Fame Nominee and American Music Awards Honoree are bringing to life her new lead single in an updated version of Burt Bacharach/Hal David vintage song ” What The World Needs Now” recorded in 1966. Ms. Warwick’s son Damien Elliot handled the production of the album. “She’s Back” will include duets with Kenny Lattimore, Musiq Soulchild, Krayzie Bone of Bone and Thugs and Harmony. This will be her 36th studio album and will feature other great hits like ” I Say A Little Prayer For You ” and “Walk On By”.
BackBeat R&B had the distinct honor and pleasure of interviewing the very talented and legendary Dionne Warwick, thank you for sharing your talent and beautiful voice with the world. “She’s Back” but you never left, your music is “Timeless Ms. Warwick!
BB: You have one of the most recognizable voices in the world and sold over 100 million records, not many artists can say that! How does it feel to be an icon of so many and what do you think the younger generation in the music business has to do to reach or attain this status?
DW: I believe consistent honing of your craft is the primary objective and believing in one’s self. Be prepared to walk through the door when it opens and understand NO comes often but around the corner is that YES!
BB: Looking back on your career, what would you say was your worst experience in the music industry while trying to make it to the top?
DW: I look at each set back as a learning point. There, fortunately, have not been that many on my journey.
BB: I recently read “Education” has always been a primary focus throughout your lifetime and career. What would your career path have been if you had not become the legendary Dionne Warwick?
DW: I would have used my credentials to teach music education.
BB: You have done it all and of course, recorded with so many artists, are there any new artists of today or even yesteryear you would like to collaborate with?
DW: I have had the pleasure of recording with many of the current artists of today that I refer to as the babies that are represented on my new CD She’s Back. My ultimate recording collaboration is to record with my favorite group of all time…………Earth Wind and Fire.
BB: I read you have sung for a number of presidents, who would you say is the most memorable president you sang for?
DW: They were all wonderful to sing before.
BB: You have been embraced by so many legendary icons in the music industry (Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr, Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra to name a few) What do you think was the best piece of advice given to you by any iconic legend?
DW: To always be who I am as I cannot be anyone but myself.
BB: You have a new album called “She’s Back” which was released this spring and produced by your son Damon Elliot, how easy or hard was that working with a very close family member, especially an adult child? As you know, sometimes family can be your worst critics!
DW: It was a joy to work with my son Damon the only difference was he called me Mommy instead of Dionne.
BB: Earlier this year, you proudly accepted the Grammy Awards highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, tell my readers what you were feeling when you accepted this award?
DW: Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammy was and is the ultimate and the feeling is something that cannot be put into words.
BB: You recently had a residency at Bailey’s Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. You were joined there by your very talented and beautiful grand-daughter Cheyenne Elliot. As a proud famous grandmother, does she ever ask for your musical advice and has she ever sang any of your songs?
DW: Bally’s was a wonderful experience and Cheyenne has been on the road with me since she was a child. She is a wonderful young lady and exceptionally talented and has truly developed over the years. She is now recording and you’ll be hearing from her very soon.
BB: Lastly, “What The World Needs Now” is one of your many signature songs and of a course a favorite of mine, without getting into politics, what do you think the world needs more of in one sentence?
DW: Love is the only thing that can conquer Hate and I learned from my Grandfather who was a Minister that God is Love so we need to get God back into our lives.
“WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS LOVE”