10-8-2020: Iconic four-time Grammy Award winner and 12-time nominee, Deniece Williams is a legendary songbird ,with a spectacular, four-octave range voice as heard in her multi-platinum hit songs, “Let’s Hear It for The Boy,” “It’s Gonna Take a Miracle,” “Free,” “Black Butterfly” “I’ve Got The Next Dance,” “I Surrender All,” “They Say,” I Believe In You” and “This Is My Song“ is an American treasure that paved the way for many of today’s superlative singers. Williams was a sought-after back-up vocalist for Stevie Wonder as part of Wonderlove. Williams performed vocals on Stevie’s all-time great albums, Talking Book, Fulfillingness’ First Finale and Songs in the Key of Life. Williams continued to perform vocals on the albums of revered artists including Syreeta Wright‘s album Stevie Wonder Presents: Syreeta, Minnie Riperton‘s album Perfect Angel and Roberta Flack‘s hit, “Feel Like Makin’ Love.”
A fruitful partnership formed with famed singer-songwriter Johnny Mathisresulted in many popular songs including the 1978 #1 smash, “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late.” Mathis and Williams also recorded “Without Us, ” the theme to the popular 1980s sitcom “Family Ties.” She then topped the Dance Charts in 1979 with her disco single, “I’ve Got the Next Dance”. Williams game-changing contributions to the 80’s music scene included the #1 R&B single, “It’s Gonna Take a Miracle,” Top 10 R&B singles “Never Say Never” and “I Can’t Wait,” and the powerful albums “Hot On The Trail,” “Water Under the Bridge” and “As Good As It Gets.”
Our interviewer is James Gavin, a free-lance journalist and author of four books and dozens of NY Times articles, and. He is a worldwide public speaker, a Grammy nominee and recipient of two ASCAP Deems Taylor-Virgil Thompson Awards for excellence in music journalism.