Gone, But Not Forgotten: Minnie Riperton

(double left click to enlarge photo)

 This post was prompted by an episode of Unsung on TVOne.  Minnie, born Minnie Julia Riperton, was known for her unbelievably strong and powerful five octave range.  She started off singing in her very own girl group called the Gems.  She then moved on to backup singing.  She sang backup to some notable greats like Muddy Waters, Etta James, Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry.  Minnie’s claim to fame or first major hit was the iconic hit “Loving You” recorded in 1975.   Sadly, the fanfare didn’t last long because in 1976 she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Once diagnosed; she was given 6 months to live.  She didn’t let her prognosis stop her; she went on to record several more hits including Back Down Memory Lane & Lover and Friend over the next 3 years.  Two years after being diagnosed; she went on to be the spokesperson for the American Cancer Society. In 1978 she was given the American Cancer Society Courage Award.  She was invited to the White House so that then President, Jimmie Carter could present it to her personally. Minnie died one year later in her husband’s arms, surrounded by family, and close friend Stevie Wonder at the age of 31.  Minnie was survived by her daughter, Maya Rudolph, son Marc Rudolph, and devoted husband Richard Rudolph.RIP

Minnie’s Family Now

Maya is an actress and comedian; she was a regular on Saturday Night Live.  Marc, received an ivy league degree and is a music engineer and works closely with his father Richard, in the music industry.  Richard, composer, guitarist, musician, songwriter, and producer is the co-founder and co-owner (with Riperton’s estate) of Dickiebird Music, and has worked as musical director for numerous films.  Richard who sometimes goes by Dick, also produced Teena Marie’s second album, “Lady T.”  To my knowledge he has never remarried. They are doing well right?

You can read her biography here or on Wikipedia.  This is one of several facebook pages dedicated to Minnie  That happened to be the best one.

Gone, But Not Forgotten: Minnie Riperton

The videos below are actually the full episode broken up into six videos.

Sorry, but TV One disabled the videos they had for public viewing on YouTube, because they hated on being part of this post. I can’t think of a different reason. I will never post anything that is TVOne based ever again in life. Ignorance is bliss!!


The stuff they did was just mean.  This post came from a pleasant place.  Minnie Riperton was a beautiful song bird that was stolen from us.  I don’t think her legacy should go unappreciated and unnoticed.   There has never ever been a songstress like her,  Try to find one….just one.   R.I.P Minnie Riperton…..we (I)still love you!!!


Shame on you TVOne…………………..


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