Showtune Sunday: All about Minnie Riperton!
Minnie Riperton had a most unique and remarkable voice which you will hear for yourself in this performance on NBC’s The Midnight Special. At the end of the song, she sings “Maya, Maya, Maya” over and over again.
Maya was her young daughter who grew up to be Maya Rudolph of Saturday Night Live and Bridesmaids fame.
Talent clearly runs in the family.
Sadly, Minnie died at age 31 on July 12, 1979 when her daughter Maya was just 7 years old.
Today would have been Minnie’s 73rd birthday.
One of my siblings had her Lovin’ You single – which reached #1 in 1974 – and I remember playing it over and over and would be amazed each time at the high note at the end of the chorus.
Minnie was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 1976 and underwent a radical mastectomy. She was given a grim prognosis of six months to live because the cancer had metastasized.’
But she continued recording and touring and was one of the first celebrities to go public with her breast cancer diagnosis.
She far surpassed her prognosis of six months and in 1977, she became a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society. The next year, she received the American Cancer Society’s Courage Award which was presented to her at the White House by President Jimmy Carter.