Thursday, October 27, 2011

Back 2 Natural: Minnie Riperton - Back Down Memory Lane

This video is a music short series by "A Black Film Academy production." There are videos of Minnie performing this song, but I decided to use this one to give you a good visual. You'll see that the actress portraying Minnie is rocking a TWA. I love it!

Song - Minnie Riperton "Memory Lane"

While browsing youtube music videos for my Back 2 Natural series, I came across a favorite singer of mine, Minnie Riperton. Her voice was so angelic it literally gave me goose bumps when hearing her belt out those beautiful whistles she's known for. I remember her dying very young and decided to go do some research on her life and death. 

Minnie Julia Riperton was born November 8th, 1947. She grew up on Chicago's South Side. As a child, she studied music, drama, and dance at Chicago's Lincoln Center. In her teen years, she sang lead vocals for the Chicago-based girl group, The Gems. Riperton reached the apex of her short, but esteemed career with her number-one single, "Lovin You," on April 4, 1975. She went on to record six studio albums. 

In January 1976 Riperton was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a radical mastectomy. By the time of the diagnosis, the cancer had metastasized and she was given about six months to live. She continued recording and touring despite her terminal illness. Riperton was one of the first celebrities to go public about her breast cancer diagnosis. In 1977, she became a spokesman for the American Cancer Society. She passed away at the age of 31 on July 12, 1979. Her husband Richard Rudolph, son, Marc, daughter, Maya and sister, Sandra Riperton, survived her. {Source}

Her story truly touched me because I lost my Mother to cancer when she was just 31. My Mother didn't die of breast cancer, but to complications of graves disease. She did all the things she was supposed to do in taking care of her body, but Cancer doesn't discriminate against anyone. I've recently in the last 5 years started performing more regular breast checks outside of my yearly exam.  

A young Maya with Minnie



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