Dionne Warwick, Lifetime Achievement Honor

In one of the most extraordinary examples of staying power the music industry has ever known, five-time Grammy Award-winning music legend, Dionne Warwick continues to regale audiences internationally. From the early 1960’s on, her iconic sound set the bar in American pop music by earning more than 60 charted hit songs and selling over 100 million records. She has done more than entertain the world; as a humanitarian, she has advocated for global well-being through such efforts as AIDS awareness, The Starlight Foundation, children’s hospitals, and music education. Ms. Warwick notably served as U.S. Ambassador of Health, appointed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan, and in 2002 acted as a United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization. In using her music to support her activism, she performed in the all-star charity single, “We Are the World,” and in 1984’s “Live Aid. She also made recording history with Gladys Knight, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder with, “That’s What Friends Are For,” a number one hit from 1985 and the first recording dedicated to raising awareness for AIDS.

After teaming with renowned songwriters, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, her first major release in 1962, “Don’t Make Me Over” kicked off 18 more consecutive Top 100 singles. A few of her chart-toppers include, “Walk on By,” “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” “Message to Michael,” “Promises Promises,” “A House is Not a Home,” “Alfie,” “Say a Little Prayer,” and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.” After 30 hits, and close to 20 best-selling albums with the team, she received her first Grammy Award in 1968 for, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” and in a series of trailblazing moments, she became the first African-American female artist to appear before the Queen of England at a Royal Command Performance. Her second Grammy followed in 1970 for the best-selling album, “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” with Warwick then becoming the first African-American solo female artist of her generation to win the prestigious award for Best Contemporary Female Vocalist Performance. Other songs such as the theme from “Valley of the Dolls,” made her a pioneering female artist in popularizing classic movie themes.

Throughout the 70’s, she began a fresh decade of honors and she released new hits with Warner Bros. Records. There she recorded half a dozen albums, landing at the top of the charts with “Then Came You,” a million-selling duet with The Spinners in 1974. By 1976, after a label switch to Arista Records, she entered her third decade of hit-making with a Platinum-selling album, “Dionne,” produced by Barry Manilow with its back-to-back hits “I’ll Never Love This Way Again,” and “Déjà vu.”. Both recordings earned more Grammy Awards, setting her up as the first female artist to win for the Best Female Pop and Best Female R&B Performance. Having received 13 nominations alongside her five wins, three of her hits “Alfie,” “Don’t Make Me Over,” and “Walk On By,” are now inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

The 1980s didn’t slow down her success as she climbed to the top of international charts with her 1982 album, “Heartbreaker,” co-produced by Barry Gibb and the Bee Gees. More collaborations with her peers in the industry continued throughout the 1980s and 1990s, including songs with Johnny Mathis, Smokey Robinson, Luther Vandross, Jeffrey Osbourne, Kashif and Stevie Wonder. Her acclaim reached new heights once she became the host of the hit television music show, “Solid Gold.”

Warwick’s pride and joy are her two sons, singer recording artist David Elliott and award-winning music producer Damon Elliott (Luther Vandross and others). David’s daughter, vocalist Cheyenne Elliott has joined her legendary grandmother in both live performance and recording internationally.

In 2019, Ms. Warwick earned a Lifetime Achievement Grammy from the recording academy, released a Top 3 album, “She’s Back”, and a holiday release, “The Voices of Christmas”. In addition, she enjoyed an extended performance stay in Las Vegas at Cleopatra’s Barge, the venue within Caesars Palace.

The year 2020 had Dionne Warwick quite busy – a surprise appearance on Fox TV’s “The Masked Singer” (she was disguised as a mouse!) as well as celebrating her 80th birthday in December with an online celebration with friends and fans. During the celebrations, Ms. Warwick – with the help of her niece, media consultant Brittani Warrick – entered the Twitter stratosphere, making direct connections with younger artists such as Taylor Swift, Chance The Rapper and The Weeknd. This resulted in an upcoming project with Chance and the Weeknd, which will be produced by Damon Elliott for 2021.