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Brenda Holloway

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Los Angeles, United States (1946 – present)

Brenda Holloway (born June 21, 1946 in Atascadero, California) is an African-American singer and songwriter best known for her period as a recording artist for the Motown label during the 1960s. Her best known hits from her Motown days were the soul ballad Every Little Bit Hurts (which reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964. The title of the song was similar to the 60’s television public service announcement about highway littering—Every Litter Bit Hurts. After her ‘64 hit, she recorded, When I’m Gone,which had been recorded by Mary Wells and was intended to be Mary’s followup to her ‘64 mega-hit , My Guy. However, after a contract dispute, Mary Wells left Motown for 20th Century Fox Records. Brenda’s version of “When I’m Gone” was a R&B hit, but never crossed over in the days of segragated R&B/Rock & Roll radio.

Holloway did not fit the Motown mold well. She lived in Los Angeles, not Detroit. She also had a grittier edge than the typical polished Motown performer, and wrote songs as well as sang them, which was unprecedented for a female Motown artist. Brenda Hollowy inspired many artists, including The Beatles who asked her to perform as the opening act on their 1965 tour of the U.S. She was the only female to open for them.

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