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13 April 1946 (age 71)
Forrest City, St. Francis County, Arkansas, United States
Reverend Albert Greene (born April 13,1946 in Forrest City, Arkansas) is an American Grammy award winning soul and gospel singer who enjoyed great popularity in the 70s with the hit singles Let's Stay Together, Tired of Being Alone and You Oughta Be With Me. Green boasted a voice capable of both fluid high streams of sugar and deep south growls and rasps. He has sold over 20 million records worldwide and was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, being referred to as "one of the most gifted purveyors of soul music."
In 1967 at the age of 16, Al formed an R&B group, Al Green & the Creations, with several of his high-school friends. Two Creation members, Curtis Rogers and Palmer James, founded their own independent record company, Hot Line Music Journal, and had the group record for the label. By that time, the Creations had been re-named the Soul Mates. The group's first single, "Back Up Train," became a surprise hit, climbing to number five on the R&B charts early in 1968. The Soul Mates attempted to record another hit, but all of their subsequent singles failed to find an audience. In 1969, Al Green met bandleader and Hi Records vice president Willie Mitchell while on tour in Midland, Texas. Impressed with Green's voice, he signed the singer to Hi Records, and began collaborating with Al on his debut album
He was perhaps the ideal complement to the orchestral, syrupy, strong soul production work of Hi Records wizard Willie Mitchell, who also helmed 70s classics for Syl Johnson, Ann Peebles, and himself.
On October 18, 1974, Mary Woodson, a woman who was his longtime girlfriend, threw a large pot of sticky boiling grits on him as he was preparing to shower, because he didn't want to get married. She committed suicide in minutes, which deeply affected Green to turn to God and religion. This assault from behind caused third-degree burns on his back, stomach and arm. Deeply shaken, Green continued to reaffirm and grow closer to his deeply held love for God, and became an ordained pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis in 1976.
The title of Al Green's latest album Lay It Down released May,2008, truly tells it like it is. Conceived as a collaboration between the soul legend and a handful of gifted young admirers from the worlds of contemporary R&B and hip hop, the album is drawn from a series of inspired sessions that yielded the most high-spirited, funky and often lushly romantic songs of Green's latter-day career.
The project features the sophisticated R&B voices of singer-songwriters John Legend, Anthony Hamilton and Corinne Bailey Rae, and it was co-produced with Green by two of hip-hop's most innovative players, drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson from the Roots and keyboardist James Poyser , the go-to guy for high-profile artists ranging from Erykah Badu to Common. Add in Brooklyn's celebrated Dap-King Horns (Sharon Jones, Amy Winehouse), guitarist Chalmers "Spanky" Alford (Mighty Clouds of Joy, Joss Stone) and bassist Adam Blackstone (Jill Scott, DJ Jazzy Jeff), among others, and you've got a modern soul-music dream team, fronted by the most expressive voice in the business.
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