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Donny Hathaway

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Chicago, United States (1945 – 1979)

Donny Edward Hathaway (October 1, 1945 – January 13, 1979) was an Grammy Award-winning American musician. He signed with Atlantic Records in 1969, and with his first single “The Ghetto” (1970), Rolling Stone magazine marked him as “a major new force in soul music.” His collaborations with Roberta Flack took him to the top of the charts and won him the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the duet “Where Is The Love” in 1973. On January 13, 1979, his body was found outside the luxury hotel Essex House in New York City; his death was ruled a suicide.

Hathaway, the son of Drusella Huntley, was born in Chicago, but spent most of his youth in St. Louis. He lived with his grandmother, Martha Pitts, also known as Martha Crumwell, in the Carr Square housing project. Hathaway began singing in a church choir with his grandmother, a professional gospel singer, at the age of 3. He also played the ukulele and, fascinated by Liberace, began studying piano as a child. Hathaway began singing professionally as “Donny Pitts, The Nation’s Youngest Gospel Singer”. By the time he was a student at Vashon High School, he was known as a piano prodigy, which earned him a fine-arts scholarship to Howard University in 1964 where he was initiated into Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He attended Howard for three years and performed with The Ric Powell Trio, a jazz trio. Hathaway received so many job offers that he left Howard without a degree in 1967.

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  • saltyknuckles

    Featured on SaltyKnuckles ~ Oldies №86 - oldies.saltyknuckles.net/2014-29/

    26 Jul 5:10pm Reply
  • jheanlimma

    great singer, a talented musician, a big artist with a soulful voice and a beautiful vocal range... Donny is so missed and he didn't deserve his death, so tragic

    13 May 2:06am Reply
  • GuiBalhego

    Put your hand in the hand <3

    24 Apr 5:21pm Reply
  • LOVES-DESIRE

    Donny listening to you is great for my Soul and inexpressible definition of Love ..... His songs seem to be attempting to express the inexpressible Love .... No one comes closer than Donny Hathaway ..... My Love is in there hiding, I Love you in a place where there's no space of time ..... I Love you for my Life - you're a friend of mine .... I was singing this song to you .....

    7 Mar 2:46am Reply
  • Ksimi

    Donny is an unreachable perfection in male singing, no less than that

    16 Feb 11:43pm Reply
  • bidola84

    35 years he's gone and has not received due recognition it deserves.

    14 Jan 1:09pm Reply
  • DickBigems

    After I listen to a lot of watered down music, I usually find myself going to Donny to flush it out of my system.

    12 Dec 2013 Reply
  • murkymedicine

    Donny Hathaway had the ultimate soul voice, and it shines through so clearly what a beautiful person he was, it broke my heart to read how he died. My favourite male vocalist of all time.

    1 Dec 2013 Reply
  • artmistress

    his music is amazing!

    25 Nov 2013 Reply
  • Imp0st0r

    Greatest of all time.

    24 Nov 2013 Reply
  • Marxism1

    Just picked up the two box sets. <3

    24 Nov 2013 Reply
  • Isco91

    Donny's still slept on to this day. Doesn't get anywhere near enough credit.

    3 Oct 2013 Reply
  • biomorfo

    he's AWESOME!!!

    18 Jul 2013 Reply
  • fbjones10

    what cha gonna do when ya grow up little ghetto BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!

    6 Jul 2013 Reply
  • Kexet1

    Im blown away by his soul in live version of Jealous Guy. Woah.

    28 Mar 2013 Reply
  • DickBigems

    Got me listening to "This Christmas" in October, lol...

    29 Oct 2012 Reply
  • Dominicanbred

    it isn't Christmas if Donny isn't on the radio...

    23 Oct 2012 Reply
  • be_boeno

    I can't stop hearing, he's so amazing :)

    27 Sep 2012 Reply
  • wendell3

    Yeah he should be up there with Stevie in peoples' minds, man. This guy was just a hell of a songwriter and had such a beautiful, soulful voice.

    13 Sep 2012 Reply
  • be_boeno

    Marvelous !!

    4 Aug 2012 Reply
  • All 207 shouts