In one of the most extraordinary examples of staying power the music industry has ever known, five-time Grammy Award-winning music legend, Dionne Warwick continues to regale audiences internationally. From the early 1960’s on, her iconic sound set the bar in American pop music by earning more than 60 charted hit songs and selling over 100 million records.
“Dionne Warwick has one of the true signature voices in all of music. As her voice has enchanted us for fifty years, so will her fascinating life story.”Dick Clark
She has done more than entertain the world; as a humanitarian, she has advocated for global well- being through such efforts as AIDS awareness, The Starlight Foundation, children’s hospitals, and music education. Ms. Warwick notably served as U.S. Ambassador of Health, appointed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan, and in 2002 acted as a United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization. In using her music to support her activism, she performed in the all-star charity single, “We Are the World,” and in 1984’s “Live Aid. She also made recording history with Gladys Knight, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder with, “That’s What Friends Are For,” a number one hit and the first recording dedicated to raising awareness for AIDS.
After teaming with renowned songwriters, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, her first major release in 1962, “Don’t Make Me Over” kicked off 18 more consecutive Top 100 singles. A few of her chart-toppers include, “Walk on By,” “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” “Message to Michael,” “Promises Promises,” “A House is Not a Home,” “Alfie,” “Say a Little Prayer,” and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.” After 30 hits, and close to 20 best-selling albums with the team, she received her first Grammy Award in 1968 for, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” and in a series of trailblazing moments, she became the first African-American female artist to appear before the Queen of England at a Royal Command Performance. Her second Grammy followed in 1970 for the best-selling album, “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” with Warwick then becoming the first African-American solo female artist of her generation to win the prestigious award for Best Contemporary Female Vocalist Performance. Other songs such as the theme from “Valley of the Dolls,” made her a pioneering female artist in popularizing classic movie themes. Throughout the 70’s, she began a fresh decade of honors such as the Hasty Pudding People’s Choice Award for Favorite Female Singer, and she released new hits with Warner Bros. Records. There she recorded half a dozen albums, landing at the top of the charts with “Then Came You,” a million- selling duet with The Spinners in 1974. By 1976, after a label switch to Arista Records, she entered her third decade of hit-making with a Platinum-selling album, “Dionne,” produced by Barry Manilow with its back-to-back hits “I’ll Never Love This Way Again,” and “Déjà vu.”. Both recordings earned more Grammy Awards, setting her up as the first female artist to win for the Best Female Pop and Best Female R&B Performance. Having received 13 nominations alongside her five wins, three of her hits “Alfie,” “Don’t Make Me Over,” and “Walk On By,” are now inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
The 1980s didn’t slow down her success as she climbed to the top of international charts with her 1982 album, “Heartbreaker,” co-produced by Barry Gibb and the Bee Gees. More collaborations with her peers in the industry continued throughout the 1980s and 1990s, including songs with Johnny Mathis, Smokey Robinson, Luther Vandross, Jeffrey Osbourne, Kashif and Stevie Wonder. Her acclaim reached new heights once she became the host of the hit television music show, “Solid Gold.” Her voice and presence were media constants with popular TV theme songs like, “Champagne Wishes & Caviar Dreams,” for “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous,” and “The Love Boat.” Warwick continued to receive honors throughout the 80’s with the 1982 NAACP Image Awards, the placement of her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1985, and by 1987 a Cable ACE Award nomination for Best Performance in the Music Special for Sisters in the Name of Love (1986). She rounded out the ‘80’s with the 1988 Image Awards as Entertainer of the Year. Warwick’s musical influence has reached into multiple genres. With an album of duets, “My Friends & Me,” a critically acclaimed Gospel album, “Why We Sing,” and a jazz album, “Only Trust Your Heart”—a collection of standards, celebrating the music of legendary composer Sammy Cahn. Her 2011 EP, “Only Trust Your Heart” launched another prolific period of recording and touring, with the powerhouse at once picking up a slew of new of awards. Starting in 2012 with the Golden Camera for Lifetime Achievement – Music International and the Glamour Woman of The Year Award. That same year she released a new album, “Now,” followed by a period of international touring, before putting out more back-to-
back albums such as, “Feels So Good” in 2015, and “Tropical Love” in 2016, which pulled five never-before-heard outtakes from her final 1994 album for Arista, Aquarela Do Brasil.
This Global Directory of Who’s Who VIP has also authored her autobiography, “My Life, As I See It” (Simon & Schuster) as well as children’s books, “Say A Little Prayer” and “Little Man.” As an entrepreneur, her signature merchandise includes musical greeting cards and an original fragrance line, “Dionne” which embodies the class and elegance for which she is renowned. Her classic style has its own signature acclaim, and a testament to its staying power is on display alongside Whitney Houston’s at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, preserving their iconic gowns for all-time. The East Orange, New Jersey native has received many honors starting in her home state, from proclamations to the naming of The Dionne Warwick Institute in recognition of her support of education. Throughout the region, commemorations continue such as Harlem Chamber of Congress’s Donald Payne, Jr. honoring her for her music, humanitarian, and philanthropic contributions with a statement in the Congressional Record. Celebrated by her peers, Warwick has received Lifetime Achievements from ASCAP, The Rhythm & Blues Foundation, and a BB King Award in that category. In November 2001, the History Makers Organization of Chicago inducted her as one, while her Songwriter’s Hall of Fame hit, “I Say a Little Prayer” has won both a 2002 HitmakerAward and a 2012 Won MOBO Lifetime Achievement Award.
Warwick’s most recent honorariums, in 2017 alone, include the 4th annual CineFashion Film Awards, the prestigious Marian Anderson Award, and she is now an APOLLO Walk of Fame Inductee. Added to the current honors are ones by Modeling Unplugged Harper’s Bazaar International, and the U.N. Women for Peace—all appointed in one year. Her activism on behalf of the community continues with her speaking before Congress on music rights, and joining The Washington Post alongside the country’s top health officials, practitioners, and advocates for a discussion on HIV/AIDS. Her 77th birthday gala doubled as a benefit entitled “Let There Be Light,” for Hoʻola Na Pua and In Unison, two local institutions serving girls rescued from sexual exploitation; and American Renaissance Academy, an arts-oriented college prep school in Kapolei. The celebration was named after an inspirational film starring Warwick that was co- produced by Damon Elliott along with Jason Lent of AMBLVD Records.
Warwick’s pride and joy are her two sons, singer recording artist David Elliott and award- winning music producer Damon Elliott (Luther Vandross and others). David’s daughter, vocalist Cheyenne Elliot, has joined her legendary grandmother in both live performance and recording internationally.
Still unstoppable Dionne continues to perform throughout 2019. She earned a Lifetime Achievement Grammy from the recording academy, released a Top 3 album, “She’s Back”, and has a new holiday release, “The Voices of Christmas” – which features duets/collaborations with the Oak Ridge Boys and John Rich, Aloe Blacc, Audra Day, Dianne Reeves, Michael McDonald, Chloe X Halle, Wayna Morris of Boyz II Men and Johnny Mathis.