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Patti Austin

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Title: Patti Austin  
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Subject: The Dude (Quincy Jones album), End of a Rainbow, Havana Candy, James Ingram, Baby, Come to Me (Patti Austin and James Ingram song)
Collection: 1950 Births, 20Th-Century American Singers, 21St-Century American Singers, African-American Female Singers, American Country Singer-Songwriters, American Dance Musicians, American Female Country Singers, American Rhythm and Blues Singers, Articles with Inconsistent Citation Formats, Backing Vocalists, Grp Records Artists, Living People, People from Bay Shore, New York, People from Harlem, Qwest Records Artists, Rca Victor Artists, Singers from New York City, Steely Dan Members
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Patti Austin

Patti Austin
Austin on the evening of her appearance at the Ram's Head in Gershwin show on October 29, 2007.
Background information
Born (1950-08-10) August 10, 1950
Origin Harlem, New York
Genres R&B, Jazz, Dance, Adult Contemporary
Occupation(s) Singer, Songwriter
Years active 1955–Present
Labels CTI, Qwest, GRP, Concord
Website Patti Austin Official Website

Patti Austin (born August 10, 1950)[1] is an American R&B, Pop and jazz singer. In 2008 she received the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal album for "Avant Gershwin" recorded mostly live with The WDR Big Band in Germany.


  • Life and career 1
  • Discography 2
    • Studio albums 2.1
    • Live albums 2.2
    • Compilation albums 2.3
    • Singles 2.4
  • Filmography 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Life and career

Austin was born in Harlem, New York and grew up in Bay Shore on Long Island.[2] Her father was a Jazz musician.[3]

She made her debut at the Apollo Theater at age four and had a contract with RCA Records when she was five. Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington have proclaimed themselves as her godparents.[4]

By the late 1960s Austin was a session musician and commercial jingle singer. During the 1980s, signed to Jones's Qwest Records, she began her most prolific hit-making period. By this time she was both one of the leading background session vocalists, appearing on numerous famous albums by other artists, and also was known as Queen of The Jingles appearing on jingles for Burger King, Almay make-up, Avon, KFC, McDonalds, Meow Mix, Impulse, Stouffers, Maxwell House and the United States Army.

She charted twenty R&B songs between 1969 and 1991 and had success on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, where she hit number one in 1981 with "Do You Love Me?" / "The Genie". The album containing that hit, Every Home Should Have One, also produced her biggest mainstream hit. "Baby, Come to Me", a duet with James Ingram, initially peaked at number 73 on the Hot 100 in early 1982. After being featured as the love theme in a prominent storyline on the soap opera General Hospital, the song re-entered the pop chart in October and went to number one in February 1983. The single was certified Gold by the RIAA. She would later team up again with Ingram for "How Do You Keep The Music Playing" from the soundtrack of the film Best Friends. That year, Austin's single "It's Gonna Be Special" was featured on the soundtrack for the Olivia Newton-John/John Travolta film Two of a Kind. Though the film was not the major success envisioned for the re-teaming of the Grease stars, the soundtrack went Platinum and Austin's single, produced by Quincy Jones, became one of her highest-profile hits. "It's Gonna Be Special" peaked at #5 on the Dance charts, #15 on the R&B charts, and charted on the Hot 100 in 1984. The song also appeared on her self-titled album of that year, and its follow-up single, "Rhythm of the Street", remixed by John "Jellybean" Benitez, narrowly missed Billboard's Dance Top Ten, though it peaked higher on Hi-NRG charts. The two songs were featured on a double-A-side 12" single. For "Rhythm of the Street" Austin shot her first music video.

Next Austin released her third album in three years entitled Gettin' Away With Murder. In addition to the title track, she had two more hit singles, "Honey For The Bees" (#24 R&B and #6 Dance) and "The Heat of Heat". Produced by Luther Vandross ("I'm Gonna Miss You In The Morning"). Earlier she'd recorded featured duets with Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons on "Our Day Will Come" and "Swearin' To God" with little billing. Austin also sang lead and background vocals on many contemporary Jazz instrumentalists' records in the 1970s. In 1985 she sang lead vocals on a collaboration with her producer, Narada Michael Walden, and the single, "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme", went top 40 on the R&B charts. In 1991, she recorded the duet "You Who Brought Me Love" with music legend Johnny Mathis, which was received with critical acclaim. That same year she was invited to be a guest on a Johnny Mathis television special that was broadcast across North America.

In 2003, Austin collaborates with legendary Asian artist Frances Yip from Hong Kong in Papillon III at the Rotunda of San Francisco City Hall to benefit the Jade Ribbon Campaign of Stanford University. A companion CD/DVD was released in conjunction with the event featuring Austin and Yip's duets of many classic Chinese numbers sung in Mandarin directed and arranged by music director Carlton Liu.[3]

Austin led a new group of Raelettes for the 2006 album Ray Charles + Count Basie Orchestra = Genius². That group also featured veteran session singer Valerie Pinkston and members of the group Perry.

During a 2007 interview promoting her latest recording, Austin reflected how as a teenager she reluctantly attended one of Judy Garland's last concerts and the experience helped focus her career, stating "She (Judy Garland) ripped my heart out. I wanted to interpret a lyric like that, to present who I was at the moment through the lyric."[5]

In 2007 Patti Austin participated in the Avo Session Basel with a program dedicated to Ella Fitzgerald.

In 2008, fifty-three years after getting her first record contract, Patti Austin was awarded her first Grammy Award, winning Best Jazz Vocal Album for Avant Gershwin at the 50th annual Grammy Awards.[4] The award came for her ninth nomination in that category.

Austin is co-producer and one of over 70 artists singing on "We Are the World: 25 for Haiti", a charity single in aid of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

In 2011 Austin released a mostly covers album project titled "Sound Advice" which contained re-works of Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody", Brenda Russell's "A Little Bit Of Love", a lesser known Jacksons tune, "Give It Up," her tribute to late friend/collaborator, Michael Jackson, a cover of Bill Withers, "Lean On Me" which she first sang at a milestone birthday for her Godfather Quincy Jones. Also on "Sound Advice" standout performances of Don McLean's "Vincent" (aka Starry Starry Night) and a deeply female take on "My Way." Austin wrote the anthemic "The Grace Of God" after watching an episode of the old "Oprah Winfrey Show" which featured a facially scarred woman ... Keeping relevant, Austin offered the bouncy slice of Pop/Rock/RandB "Round And Round" including the latest trendy vocal effects, though Austin remains one singer who clearly needs no such production techniques to cover a crystal clear, flexible, and knowing voice imitated by many, duplicated by none. Austin co-wrote and sings in the star-studded L.O.V.E. - Let One Voice Emerge, encouraging especially younger Americans to get out there and exercise their right to vote.

Austin appears in the Academy Award-winning documentary film 20 Feet from Stardom (2013), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was released on 21 June 2013.


Studio albums

Year Album Chart positions[6][7][8] Record label
1976 End of a Rainbow 31 CTI
1977 Havana Candy 116
1980 Body Language 62 28
1981 Every Home Should Have One 36 16 9 99 Qwest
1984 Patti Austin 87
1985 Gettin' Away with Murder 182 25
1988 The Real Me 56 7
1990 Love Is Gonna Getcha 93 45 4 GRP
1991 Carry On 75 13
1994 That Secret Place 12
1996 Jukebox Dreams (Japan Only) Pony Canyon
1998 In & Out of Love Concord
1999 Street of Dreams Intersound / Platinum
2001 On the Way to Love 21 Warner Bros.
2002 For Ella 7 Playboy Jazz / Concord
2003 "Papillon" featuring Patti Austin and Frances Yip Independence Label
2007 Avant Gershwin 5 Rendezvous
2011 Sound Advice 15 Shanachie
2015 still unnamed duets album with James Ingram tba
"—" denotes the album failed to chart and/or was not released in that territory

Live albums

Year Album Chart positions[6][7][8] Record label
1979 Live at the Bottom Line 33 CTI
1992 Live 20 GRP
"—" denotes the album failed to chart and/or was not released in that territory

Compilation albums

Year Album Chart positions[6][7][8] Record label
1983 In My Life 65 CTI
1994 The Best of Patti Austin Columbia
1995 The Ultimate Collection GRP
1999 The Best of Patti Austin (Japan Only) Warner Bros.
2001 Take Away the Pain Stain Wagram
The Very Best of Patti Austin: The Singles (1969-1986) Warner Bros. / Rhino
2002 The CTI Collection Connoisseur
2003 Baby Come to Me and Other Hits Flashback / Rhino
2005 Love Collection Intersound
2007 Intimate Patti Austin Mosaic Contemporary
"—" denotes the album failed to chart and/or was not released in that territory


Year Single Peak positions Album
US R&B US Hot 100 US A.C US Dance
1965 "I Wanna Be Loved / A Most Unusual Boy" 45 (Coral 45 #62471)
1966 "Take Away The Pain Stain" 45 (Coral 45 #62491)
1969 "The Family Tree" 45
1971 "Black California" (Columbia 45 #45410)
1972 "Day by Day" (Columbia 45 #45592)
1977 "Say You Love Me" 63 End of a Rainbow
1978 "Love, I Never Had It So Good" 60 Sounds...and Stuff Like That!!
1978 "We're in Love" 90 Havana Candy
1980 "Body Language" 45 Body Language
1981 "Do You Love Me?" / "The Genie" 24 1 Every Home Should Have One
1981 "Razzamatazz" 17 The Dude
"Betcha Wouldn't Hurt Me" The Dude
1981 "Every Home Should Have One" 55 62 24 Every Home Should Have One
1982 "Baby, Come to Me" (w/ James Ingram) 9 1 1 Every Home Should Have One
1983 "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" (w/ James Ingram) 6 45 5 Duets
1983 "In My Life" 92 In My Life
1984 "It's Gonna Be Special" 15 82 5 Patti Austin
Two of a Kind original soundtrack
1984 "Rhythm of the Street" 11 Patti Austin
1984 "Shoot the Moon" 49 16 Patti Austin
1985 "Honey for the Bees" 24 6 Gettin' Away with Murder
1985 "Gettin' Away with Murder" 72 Gettin' Away with Murder
1986 "The Heat of Heat" 13 55 14 Gettin' Away with Murder
1990 "Through the Test of Time" 60 9 Love Is Gonna Getcha
1991 "Givin' Into Love" 55 Carry On
1994 "Reach" 4 That Secret Place
"—" denotes the single failed to chart and/or was not released in/to that format
  • "All Behind Us Now"


Year Film Role
2013 20 Feet from Stardom Herself

See also


  1. ^ Some sources still list Austin's birth year as 1948. She gave this date in the early years of her career, in order to avoid child work regulations. "I lied about my age and I kicked it up two years because in those days it was a problem to work at that age. [...] I think women are very foolish when they say they're younger than they are anyway." Quoted in: Roberts, Michael (2007). "Bless The Godchild". Jazziz Magazine (Boca Raton, FL) (4): 32–37. 
  2. ^ The New Patti Austin Retrieved 2014-09-23.
  3. ^ "Patti Austin - biography". Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  4. ^ Murph, John. "Patti Austin: 5 Tips for Aspiring Singers". AARP. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  5. ^ "Topic Galleries". Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  6. ^ a b c "Patti Austin US chart history". Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  7. ^ a b c "Patti Austin US chart history". Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  8. ^ a b c "Patti Austin UK chart history". Archived from the original on 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 

External links

  • Patti Austin Official Website
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