Thursday, March 10, 2011

RETRO GODDESS: Interracial Couples - Minnie Riperton & Richard Rudolph


Her stunning blend of opera, r&b, pop, rock and gospel arrangements created such awe & jaw-dropping music, it really hasn't been duplicated since.

Aside from her various hits, Riperton is perhaps best remembered today for her ability to sing in the whistle register, in which she had rare facility.

She has also been credited for her ability to sustain notes in the sixth and seventh octave for long periods of time, as in Reasons, Could It Be I'm in Love, Adventures in Paradise, and Inside My Love and also Love Me Now with the Rotary Connection. In her recordings. Riperton's highest recorded note reached in the whistle register was F7 on the third scale of You Take My Breath Away Minnie reached this extremely high note before on an early recording of Teach Me How To Fly and Could It Be I'm In Love.

Her ability to imitate many instruments helped lead to Riperton's discovery while she was a secretary at Chess Records. She has some 60's songs, although she is best known for her 70's hits such as "Loving You", "Back Down Memory Lane", "If I Ever Lose This Heaven", just to name a few others.

Mariah Carey has noted Minnie as one of her inspirations as they BOTH have HIGH OCTAVE ranges.

Minnie was married to songwriter and music producer Richard Rudolph from 1972 until her death in the summer of 1979. They had two children - a son, music engineer Marc Rudolph and the lovely actress/comedienne Maya Rudolph.

Even at SUCH a young age, you can totally tell that is Maya in her fathers' arms in the picture above. Maya looks JUST LIKE her mother, doesn't

There's a rumor/fact that says that at the end of the original recording of "Lovin' You", Minnie can be heard whispering lovingly to her young daughter if you listen closely, you can hear her saying..."Maya, Maya, Maya..." {sigh}...Just Beautiful.

In January 1976 Riperton was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a radical mastectomy. By the time of diagnosis, the cancer had metastasized and she was given about six months to live. Despite the grim prognosis, she continued recording and touring. Riperton was one of the first celebrities to go public with her breast cancer diagnosis, but did not disclose that she was terminally ill. In 1977, she became spokesman for the American Cancer Society.

She died in her husband Richards' arms at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles at the age of 31 on July 12, 1979.

Her widower, Richard, is shown here in more recent pictures.

I have personally visited Minnie Ripertons' grave  at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetary in Los Angeles, California...and YES, I took pictures. It's a VERY popular cemetary with a HUGE HOST of some of the WORLDS MOST FAMOUS residents. 

As shown, her headstone is inscribed with the lyrics of her most famous song..."Lovin' You, Is Easy 'Cause Your Beautiful." She really was.

{All pictures and videos are the property of their respective owners. No ownership implied.}


  1. she was so incredibly talented...i want "lovin you" for my wedding song....great piece on her :) i love how she sings maya maya maya at the end of the song, it was created as a lullaby for her daughter, the rhythm and all. her son looks like gary dourdan, will have to look him up! cutie pie :D


  2. Love this, What touched me when I watched the show unsung, 30 years later Minnie's husband still is teary eyed when talking about her as if she had just passed away yesterday. Her really loved his wife.

  3. How Beautiful! I never knew who she married or that Mya was her daughter. Mya is very talented. Minnie must be very proud of her. Minie was a very beautiful woman.