Dionne Warwick (born December 12, 1940) is an American singer, actress, activist, United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization, former United States Ambassador of Health, and humanitarian. She is best known for her partnership with songwriters and producers Burt Bacharach and Hal David. According to Billboard magazine, Dionne Warwick is second to Aretha Franklin as the female vocalist with the most Billboard Hot 100 chart hits during the rock era (1955-1999). Warwick charted a total of 56 hits in the Billboard Hot 100.. The artist scored crossover hits on the Rhythm & Blues charts and the Adult Contemporary charts. Joel Whitburn's tome on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts entitled "Top Pop Singles 1955-1999" ranked Dionne Warwick as the 20th most popular of the top 200 artists of the rock era based upon the Billboard Pop Singles Charts.
Early life and career
Warwick was born Marie Dionne Warrick to parents Mancel Warrick, who began his career as a pullman porter, chef, a gospel record promoter for Chess Records and later a certified public accountant; and Lee Drinkard Warrick (1921-2005), manager of a renowned family gospel group and RCA recording artists The Drinkard Singers in East Orange, New Jersey. Dionne began singing gospel as a child at the New Hope Methodist Church in East Orange. She performed her first gospel solo at the age of six and frequently joined The Drinkard Singers. Warwick's aunt Emily (Cissy) Drinkard Houston (Whitney Houston's mother) and sister, the late Delia (Dee Dee) Warrick also performed with the family group. Other family members include Dionne's brother, Mancel Warrick, Jr., who was killed in an accident in 1968 at the age of eighteen.
Her first televised performances were in the mid-and late 1950s with the Drinkard Singers and were carried on local television stations in New Jersey and New York City. Warwick grew up in a racially mixed middle-class neighborhood. She stated in an interview on The Biography Channel in 2002 that the neighborhood in East Orange "was literally the United Nations of neighborhoods. We had every nationality, every creed, every religion right there on our street." Warwick was untouched by the harsher aspects of racial intolerance and discrimination until her early professional career when she began touring nationally. Warwick graduated from East Orange High School in 1959 and was awarded a Scholarship in Music Education to the Hartt College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut (a school from which she earned her Doctorate of Music Education in 1973).
In 1958, Warwick, Myrna Utley, and Carol Slade, along with Warwick's sister Delia (known professionally as Dee Dee Warwick) formed their own group called the "The Gospelaires". Their first performance together was at the world famous Apollo Theater, where they won the weekly amateur contest. Various other singers joined The Gospelaires from time to time, including Judy Clay (adopted by Lee and Mancel Warrick), Cissy Houston, and Doris Troy (who had a hit with 1963's "Just One Look" featuring backing vocals from the Gospelaires). Warwick recalls, in her 2002 A&E Biography that "a man came running frantically backstage at The Apollo and said he needed background singers for a session for Sam "The Man" Taylor and old big-mouth here spoke up and said 'We'll do it!' and we left and did the session. I wish I remembered the gentleman's name because he was responsible for the beginning of my professional career." The backstage encounter led to the group being asked to sing background sessions at recording studios in New York. Soon, the group was in demand in New York music circles for their background work for such artists as The Drifters, Ben E. King, Chuck Jackson, Dinah Washington, Ronnie Hawkins and The Hawks, and Solomon Burke among many others. Warwick remembers, in her A&E Biography that after school, they would catch a bus from East Orange to the Port Authority Terminal, and then subway to recording studios in Manhattan, perform their background gigs and be back at home in East Orange in time to do their school homework. The background vocal work would continue while Warwick pursued her studies at Hartt.
While performing background on The Drifters' recording of "Mexican Divorce", Warwick's voice and star presence were noticed by the song's composer Burt Bacharach, a Brill Building songwriter who was writing songs with many other songwriters including Hal David. According to a , 1967, article on Warwick from Time magazine, Bacharach stated, "She has a tremendous strong side and a delicacy when singing softly?like miniature ships in bottles." Musically, she was "no play-safe girl. What emotion I could get away with!" And what complexity, compared with the usual run of pop songs. During the session, Bacharach asked Warwick if she would be interested in recording demonstration recordings of his compositions to be used to pitch the tunes to record labels. One such demo, "It's Love That Really Counts"?destined to be recorded by Scepter-signed act The Shirelles?caught the attention of Scepter Records President Florence Greenberg. Greenberg, according to "Current Biography" 1969 Yearbook, told Bacharach "forget the song, get the girl!" Warwick was signed to Bacharach and David's production company, according to Warwick, which in turn was signed to Scepter Records in 1962 by Greenberg. The partnership would provide Bacharach with the freedom to produce Warwick without the control of recording company executives and company A&R men. Warwick's musical ability and education would also allow Bacharach to compose more challenging tunes. The demo version of "It's Love That Really Counts", along with her original demo of "Make It Easy on Yourself", would surface on Dionne's debut Scepter album entitled Presenting Dionne Warwick, released early in 1963.
Walk on By became Warwick's second international million-seller in April 1964.
Her first solo single for Scepter Records was released in November, 1962. The song was entitled "Don't Make Me Over", the title (according to the A&E Biography of Dionne Warwick) supplied by Warwick herself when she snapped the phrase at producers Burt Bacharach and Hal David in anger. Warwick found "Make It Easy on Yourself"?a song on which she had recorded the original demo and had wanted to be her first single release?had been given to another artist, Jerry Butler. From the phrase, Bacharach and David created their first top 40 pop hit (#21) and a top 5 US R&B hit. Warrick's name was misspelled on the single's label, and she began using the new spelling (i.e., "Warwick") both professionally and personally. According to the , 1967 Time magazine article, after "Don't Make Me Over" hit in 1962, she answered the call of her manager ("C'mon, baby, you gotta go"), left school and went on a tour of France, where critics crowned her "Paris' Black Pearl", having been introduced on stage at Paris Olympia that year by Marlene Dietrich. Rhapsodized Jean Monteaux in Arts: "The play of this voice makes you think sometimes of an eel, of a storm, of a cradle, a knot of seaweed, a dagger. It is not a voice so much as an organ. You could write fugues for Warwick's voice."
The two immediate follow-ups to "Don't Make Me Over"?"This Empty Place" (with "B" Side "Wishin' and Hopin'" later covered by Dusty Springfield) and "Make The Music Play"?charted briefly in the top 100. Her fourth single, "Anyone Who Had a Heart" in December 1963 was Warwick's first top 10 pop hit (#8) in the USA and also an international hit. This was followed by "Walk on By" in April 1964, a major international hit and million seller that solidified her career. For the rest of the 1960s, Warwick was a fixture on the US and Canadian charts, and virtually all of Warwick's output from 1962-1971 was written and produced by the Bacharach/David team.
Warwick weathered the British Invasion better than most American artists. Her UK hits were most notably "Walk On By" and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose". In the UK a number of Bacharach-David-Warwick songs were covered by UK singers Cilla Black, Sandie Shaw and Dusty Springfield, most notably Black's "Anyone Who Had a Heart" which went to #1 in the UK. This upset Warwick and she has described feeling insulted when told that in the UK, record company executives wanted her songs recorded by someone else. Warwick even met Cilla Black while on tour in the UK. She recalled what she said to her - " I told her that "You're My World" would be my next single in the States. I honestly believe that if I'd sneezed on my next record, then Cilla would have sneezed on hers too. There was no imagination in her recording." "You're My World"?recorded in no time by Black?was not released as a single by Warwick, but it did appear on a later album, Dionne Warwick in Valley of the Dolls, released in 1968.
Warwick was named the Bestselling Female Vocalist in the Cash Box Magazine Poll in 1964, with six chart hits in that year. Cash Box also named her the Top Female Vocalist in 1969, 1970 and 1971. In the 1967 Cash Box Poll, she was second to Petula Clark, and in 1968's poll second to Aretha Franklin. Playboy Magazine's influential Music Poll of 1970 named her the Top Female Vocalist. In 1969, Harvard's Hasty Pudding Society named her Woman of the Year.
In a , 1965 Time Magazine cover article entitled "The Sound of the Sixties," Dionne Warwick's sound was described as follows: "Swinging World. Scholarly articles probe the relationship between the Beatles and the nouvelle vague films of Jean-Luc Godard, discuss "the brio and elegance" of Dionne Warwick's singing style as a "pleasurable but complex" event to be "experienced without condescension." In chic circles, anyone damning rock 'n' roll is labeled not only square but uncultured. For inspirational purposes, such hip artists as Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers and Andy Warhol occasionally paint while listening to rock 'n' roll music. Explains Warhol: "It makes me mindless, and I paint better." After gallery openings in Manhattan, the black-tie gatherings often adjourn to a discotheque."
The mid-1960s to early 1970s
"I Say a Little Prayer" became an RIAA Certified USA Million Seller for Dionne in 1967
The mid 1960s to early 1970s became an even more successful time period for Warwick, who saw a string of Gold selling albums and Top 20 and Top 10 hit singles. "Message to Michael", a Bacharach-David composition that the duo was certain was a "man's song", became a top 10 hit for Warwick in May 1966. The January 1967 LP Here Where There Is Love was her first RIAA certified Gold Album and featured "Alfie", and two 1966 hits "Trains and Boats and Planes", and "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself". "Alfie" had become a radio hit when disc jockeys across the nation began to play the album cut early in 1967. "Alfie" was released as the "B" side of a Bacharach/David ballad, "The Beginning of Loneliness" in which charted in the Hot 100. Disc jockeys flipped the single and made it a double-sided hit. Bacharach had been contracted to produce "Alfie" for the Michael Caine film of the same name and wanted Dionne Warwick to sing the tune but the British producers wanted a British subject to cut the tune. Cilla Black was selected to record the song, and her version peaked at #95 upon its release in the USA. A cover version by Cher used in the USA prints of the film peaked at #33. In the UK and Australia, Black's version was a Top 10 hit. In a 1983 concert appearance televised on PBS, Warwick states she was the 43rd person to record "Alfie", at Bacharach's insistence, who felt Dionne could make it a big hit. Warwick, at first, balked at recording the tune and asked Bacharach "How many more versions of Alfie do you need?" to which Bacharach replied "Just one more, yours." Bacharach took Warwick into the studio with his new arrangement and cut the tune the way he wanted it to be, which she nailed in one take. Warwick's version peaked at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on both the R&B Chart and the AC Charts. Warwick performed the song at the Academy Awards in 1967. Today, "Alfie" is considered a signature song for Warwick.
Later that same year, Warwick earned her first RIAA Gold Single for US sales of over one million units for the single "I Say a Little Prayer" (from her album The Windows of the World). When disc jockeys across the nation began to play the track from the album in the fall of 1967 and demanded its release as a single, Florence Greenberg, President of Scepter Records, complied and "I Say a Little Prayer" became Warwick's biggest US hit to that point, reaching #4 on the US and Canadian Charts and # 8 on the R & B Charts. Aretha Franklin would cover the tune a year later and hit US #10. The tune was also the first RIAA certified USA million seller for Bacharach-David.
Her follow-up to "I Say a Little Prayer","(Theme from) Valley of the Dolls", was unusual in several respects. It was not written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, it was the "B" side of her "I Say a Little Prayer" single, and it was a song that she almost didn't record. While the film version of Valley of the Dolls was being made, actress Barbara Parkins suggested that Warwick be considered to sing the film's theme song, written by songwriting team Andre and Dory Previn. The song was to be recorded by Judy Garland, who was fired from the film. Warwick performed the song, and when the film became a success in the early weeks of 1968, disc jockeys flipped the single and made the single one of the biggest double-sided hits of the rock era and another million seller. At the time, RIAA rules allowed only one side of a double-sided hit single to be certified as Gold, but Scepter awarded Warwick an "in-house award" to recognize "(Theme from) Valley of the Dolls" as a million selling tune.
Warwick had re-recorded a Pat Williams-arranged version of the theme at A&R Studios in New York because contractual restrictions would not allow the Warwick version from the film to be included in the 20th Century-Fox soundtrack LP. The LP Dionne Warwick in Valley of the Dolls, released in early 1968 and containing the re-recorded version of the movie theme (#2?4 weeks), "Do You Know the Way to San Jose" and several new Bacharach-David compositions, hit the #6 position on the Billboard Hot 100 Album Chart and would remain on the chart for over a year. The film soundtrack LP, sans Warwick vocals, failed to impress the public, while Dionne Warwick in Valley of the Dolls earned an RIAA Gold certification.
The single "Do You Know the Way to San Jose", an international million seller and a Top 10 hit in several countries, including the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Japan and Mexico, was also a double sided hit with the "B" side "Let Me Be Lonely" charting at #79.
More hits ("Promises, Promises"-#19 1968; "Who Is Gonna Love Me"-#32 1968 with "B" side "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me" becoming another double sided hit, "I'll Never Fall In Love Again"-#6 1969; "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling"-#15 1969; "This Girl's In Love With You"-#7 1969; "Make It Easy On Yourself"-#37 1970; "Who Is Gonna Love Me"-#33 1968; "The April Fools"-#37 1969 (from the film of the same name); "Let Me Go To Him"-#32 1970; "Paper Mache"-#43 1970; The Green Grass Starts to Grow"-#43-1971) followed into 1971. Warwick's final Bacharach/David penned single was March 1971's "Who Gets the Guy" and her final "official" Scepter single release was "He's Moving On" backed with "Amanda" both from the soundtrack of the motion picture adaptation of Jacqueline Susann's The Love Machine. Other Scepter LPs certified RIAA Gold include Dionne Warwick's Golden Hits Part 1 released in 1967 and The Dionne Warwicke Story: A Decade of Gold released in 1971. By the end of 1971, Dionne Warwick had sold an estimated thirty-five million singles and albums internationally in less than nine years and more than 16 million singles in the USA alone. Exact figures of Warwick's sales are unknown, and probably underestimated, due to Scepter Records lax accounting policies and the company policy of not submitting recordings for RIAA audit. Dionne Warwick became the first Scepter artist to request RIAA audits of her recordings in 1967 with the release of "I Say A Little Prayer".
Warwick won her second Grammy Award for the 1970 album "I'll Never Fall In Love Again"
On Wednesday, , 1969, CBS Television aired Dionne Warwick's first television special entitled "The Dionne Warwick Chevy Special." Dionne's guests were Burt Bacharach, George Kirby, Glen Campbell, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Warwick had become the priority act of Scepter Records, according to the website "The Scepter Records Story" and Luther Dixon in a 2002 A&E Biography of Burt Bacharach, with the release of "Anyone Who Had a Heart" in 1963. In 1971, Dionne Warwick left the family atmosphere of Scepter Records for Warner Bros. Records for what was at the time the most lucrative recording contract ever given a female vocalist according to Variety. Warwick's last LP for Scepter was the aforementioned soundtrack for the motion picture The Love Machine (in which she appeared in an uncredited cameo), released in July 1971. In 1975, Bacharach/David sued Scepter Records for an accurate accounting of royalties due the team from Warwick and labelmate B. J. Thomas recordings and was awarded almost $600,000 and the rights to all Bacharach/David recordings on the Scepter label. The label, with the defection of Warwick to Warner Bros. Records, filed for bankruptcy in 1975 and was sold to Springboard International Records in 1976.
Following her signing with Warners, with Bacharach and David as writers and producers Dionne returned to A&R Studios in late 1971 to begin recording her first album for the new label, the self-titled album Dionne (not to be confused with her later Arista debut album) in January 1972. The album peaked at #57 on the Billboard Hot 100 Album Chart. In 1972, Burt Bacharach and Hal David scored and wrote the tunes for the motion picture Lost Horizon. The film was panned by the critics, and in the fallout from the film, the songwriting duo decided to terminate their working relationship. The breakup left Dionne devoid of their services as her producers and songwriters. Dionne was contractually obligated to fulfill her contract with Warners without Bacharach and David and she would team with a variety of producers during her tenure with the label.
Faced with the prospect of being sued by Warner Bros. Records due to the breakup of Bacharach/David and their failure to honor their contract with Dionne, she filed a $5.5 million lawsuit against her former partners for breach of contract. The suit was settled out of court in 1979 for $5 million including the rights to all Warwick recordings produced by Bacharach and David.
Warwick, for years an aficionado of psychic phenomena, was advised by famed astrologer Linda Goodman in 1971 to add a small "e" to her last name, making Warwick "WARWICKe" for good luck and to recognize her married name and her spouse, actor and drummer William " Bill" Elliott. Goodman convinced Warwick that the extra small "e" would add a vibration needed to balance her last name and bring her even more good fortune in her marriage and her professional life. The extra "e", according to Dionne "was the worst thing I could have done in retrospect, and in 1975 I finally got rid of that damn "e" and became "Dionne Warwick" again."
The Warner era (1972-1978)
Without the guidance and songwriting that Bacharach/David had provided, Warwick's career slowed in the 1970s. There were no big hits until 1974's "Then Came You", recorded as a duet with the Spinners and produced by Thom Bell. Bell later noted, "Dionne made a face when we finished . She didn't like it much, but I knew we had something. So we ripped a dollar in two, signed each half and exchanged them. I told her, 'If it doesn't go number one, I'll send you my half.' When it took off, Dionne sent hers back. There was an apology on it." It was her first US #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Other than this success, Warwick's five years on Warner Bros. Records?despite the fact that she worked the entire time?left her with few chart hits. Two notable songs recorded during this period were "His House and Me" and "Once You Hit The Road" (#79 R&B, #6 Adult Contemporary)?both of which were produced in 1975 by Thom Bell.
Warwick recorded five albums with Warners: Dionne, produced by Bacharach and David; Just Being Myself, produced by Holland-Dozier-Holland; Then Came You, produced by Jerry Ragovoy; Track of the Cat, produced by Thom Bell; and Love at First Sight, produced by Steve Barri and Michael Omartian. The singer's five-year contract with Warners expired in 1977, and with that, Warwick ended her stay at the label.
The 80s: Move to Arista
With the move to Arista Records and the release of "I'll Never Love This Way Again" (a tune written by Richard Kerr and Will Jennings and first recorded by Cheryl Ladd in 1978) in 1979, Dionne was again enjoying top success on the charts. The song was produced by Barry Manilow. The accompanying album Dionne?not to be confused with the Warner Bros. Records album of the same name?was her first and only disc to go Platinum in the US. She had been personally signed and guided by the label's founder Clive Davis, who stated to Dionne "You may be ready to give the business up, but the business is not ready to give you up." Dionne's followup was another huge hit. "Deja Vu" was written by Isaac Hayes and Adrienne Anderson. In 1980, Dionne was nominated for the NARAS Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for "I'll Never Love This Way Again" and Best R&B Performance, Female for "D?j? Vu". Dionne became the first artist in the history of the awards to win in both categories the same year. Her followup album, 1980's No Night So Long featured the title track written by Richard Kerr and Will Jennings which became a major hit and the album peaked at #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 Albums Chart and #22 on the Billboard Hot R & B Albums Chart.
"Heartbreaker" an Arista album from 1982, earned Warwick another RIAA certified Gold Album and the title tune became an international smash hit.
In January 1980, while under contract to Arista Records, Dionne Warwick hosted a two-hour TV special called Solid Gold '79. This was adapted into the weekly one-hour show Solid Gold, which she hosted throughout 1980 and 1981 and again in 1985-86.
After a top forty hit recorded in early 1982 with her friend and fellow musical legend Johnny Mathis?the Jay Graydon-produced "Friends in Love" from the album of the same name?Warwick's next big hit later that same year was her full-length collaboration with Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees for the album Heartbreaker. The song "Heartbreaker" became one of Dionne's biggest international hits, peaking on Billboard's Hot 100 at #10 in January 1983 and #1 AC in the USA and #2 in the UK. Internationally, the tune was also a smash in continential Europe, Australia, Japan, South Africa, Canada, and Asia. The title track was taken from the album of the same name which sold over 3 million internationally and earned Dionne an RIAA USA gold record award for the album. The album peaked at #25 on the Hot 100 Album Chart, #13 on the R&B Chart and #3 in the UK. Dionne stated to Wesley Hyatt in his The Billboard Book of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits that she was not fond of "Heartbreaker" but recorded the tune because she trusted The Bee Gees' judgment that it would be a hit. The project came about when Clive Davis was attending his aunt's wedding in Florida and spoke with Barry Gibb. Barry mentioned that he had always been a fan of Dionne's and Clive arranged for Dionne and The Bee Gees to discuss a project. Dionne and the brothers Gibb hit it off and the album and the title single were released in October 1982.
In 1983, Dionne released another notable album titled How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye which was produced by Luther Vandross. Their collaboration had been a lifelong dream of Vandross, who had maintained that he wanted to work with Warwick, Aretha Franklin, and Diana Ross. The album's most successful single was the title track, "How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye", a duet with Warwick, which peaked at #27 on the Billboard Hot 100. The second single, the Dance-pop song "Got a Date", became a moderate hit on the R&B chart. The album peaked at Number 57 on The Billboard 200 album chart and Number 19 on the R&B chart. Of note was a reunion with The Shirelles on Warwick's cover of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow". Warwick would not release another studio album until two years later, 1984's Finder of Lost Loves?an album that would reunite her with both Barry Manilow and Burt Bacharach, who was now writing with his new lyricist partner and wife, Carole Bayer Sager.
In 1985, Warwick contributed her voice to the Multi-Grammy award winning charity song: We Are the World, along with vocalists like Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Tina Turner and Diana Ross.
Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer-Sager, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder and Elton John, "That's What Friends Are For", 1985
In 1985, Warwick recorded the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR) benefit single "That's What Friends Are For" alongside Gladys Knight, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder. The single, credited to "Dionne and Friends" raised over three million dollars for that cause. The tune peaked at #1 for four weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1986. In 1988, the Washington Post wrote: So working against AIDS, especially after years of raising money for work on many blood-related diseases such as sickle-cell anemia, seemed the right thing to do. "You have to be granite not to want to help people with AIDS, because the devastation that it causes is so painful to see. I was so hurt to see my friend die with such agony," Warwick remembers. "I am tired of hurting and it does hurt." The single won the performers the NARAS Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, as well as Song of the Year for its writers, Bacharach and Bayer Sager. It also was ranked by Billboard magazine as the most popular song of 1986. With this single, Warwick also released her second most successful album of the decade, titled Friends.
In July 1987, Dionne scored another Billboard Top 20 pop hit (#12) and Top 10 R&B chart hit (and #1 AC hit) with the song, "Love Power", a duet with Jeffrey Osborne. This song, another written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, was featured in Warwick's album Reservations for Two. The album's title song, a duet with Kashif, was also a moderate hit. Other artists featured on the album included Smokey Robinson and June Pointer.
1990s to present
Despite the release of another Greatest Hits album?her first with Arista?Warwick's career slowed in the 1990s. During this period, Warwick hosted infomercials for the Psychic Friends Network which featured psychic Linda Georgian. The 900 number psychic service was active from 1991 to 1998. According to press statements throughout the 1990s, the program was the most successful infomercial for several years and Warwick earned in excess of three million dollars per year as spokesperson for the network. In 1998, Information, the corporation owning the network, filed for bankruptcy and Warwick ended her association with the organization. Warwick's longtime friend and tour manager Henry Carr acknowledged in a 2002 Biography Channel interview that "when Dionne was going through an airport and a child recognized her as 'that psychic lady on TV' Dionne was crushed and said she had worked too hard as an entertainer to become known as 'the psychic lady'."
Dionne Warwick's "Friends Can Be Lovers" album was released in 1993
Warwick's most publicized album during this period was 1993's "Friends Can Be Lovers", which was produced in part by Ian Devaney and Lisa Stansfield. Featured on the album was "Sunny Weather Lover", which was the first song that Burt Bacharach and Hal David had written together for Warwick since 1972. It was Warwick's lead single in the US, and was heavily promoted by Arista, but it failed to chart. A follow-up "Where My Lips Have Been" peaked at #95 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks.
In 1990 Dionne recorded a song "It's All Over" with former member of Modern Talking Dieter Bohlen (Blue System). The single peaked at #84 on U.S R&B charts and it appears on Blue System's album "Deja Vu".
In 1993, Forrest Sawyer, host of the ABC News/Entertainment program "Day One", alleged financial improprieties by the Warwick Foundation, founded in 1989 to benefit AIDS patients, particularly Dionne Warwick's charity concert performances organized to benefit the organization. ABC alleged the Foundation was operating at a near 90% administrative cost. ABC also alleged that Warwick flew first class and was accommodated at first class hotels for charity concerts and events in which she participated for the Foundation. Warwick, who had no executive, administrative or management role in the organization, challenged ABC to investigate the foundation further and alleged that the ABC report was racially motivated. An Internal Revenue Service investigation of the Warwick Foundation found no wrongdoing or criminal activity on the part of the Board of Directors or Warwick and its status as a non-profit charity was upheld. ABC maintained the report to be factually correct but the item has not been repeated since the original air date. The Foundation was later dissolved.
In 2004, Dionne Warwick's first Christmas album was released. The CD, entitled "My Favorite Time of the Year" featured jazzy interpretations of many holiday classics. In 2007, Rhino Records re-released the CD with new cover art.
In 2005, Dionne Warwick was honored by Oprah Winfrey at her Legends Ball.
Warwick appeared on the , 2006, fifth-season finale of American Idol. Millions of U.S. viewers watched Warwick sing a medley of "Walk on By" and "That's What Friends Are For", with longtime collaborator Burt Bacharach accompanying her on the piano.
In 2006, Warwick signed with Concord Records after a fifteen-year tenure at Arista. Her first release for the label was My Friends and Me, a duets album containing reworkings of her old hits, very similar in fashion to her 1998 CD "Dionne Sings Dionne" . Among her singing partners were Gloria Estefan, Olivia Newton-John, Wynonna Judd and Reba McEntire. The album peaked at #66 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album was produced by her son, Damon Elliott. A followup album featuring Warwick's old hits as duets with male vocalists was planned but the project was cancelled.
A compilation CD of her greatest hits and love songs "The Love Collection" entered the UK pop charts at number 27 on February 16, 2008.
Dionne Warwick's new gospel album, "Why We Sing", was due to be released on February 26, 2008 in the UK and on April 1, 2008 in the USA. The album features guest spots by her sister Dee Dee Warwick and Bebe Winans.
On October 18, 2008, Warwick's sister Dee Dee Warwick died in a nursing home in Essex County, New Jersey. She had been in failing health for several months which lead up to her death. Warwick was with her sister Dee Dee when she died.
On November 24, 2008 Dionne was the star performer on "Divas II" a UK ITV1 special. The show also featured Rihanna, Leona Lewis, Sugababes, Pink, Gabriella Climi and Anastacia.
Warwick with First Lady Pat Nixon, 1971?
Dionne Warwick married actor and drummer William Elliott (CBS's Bridget Loves Bernie-1972-73) in 1966 and the couple divorced in May 1967 after being wed for less than a year. They reconciled and were remarried in Milan, Italy, in August 1967 according to Time Magazine. Warwick has stated in many interviews that "It was a case of can't do with, can't do without, so I married him again." On May 30, 1975, the couple separated and Warwick was granted a divorce in December 1975 in Los Angeles. The court denied Elliott's request for $2,000 a month in support pending a community property trial and for $5,000, when Elliott insisted that he was making $500 a month in comparison to Warwick making $100,000 a month. Dionne stated in "Don't Make Me Over: Dionne Warwick", a 2002 Biography Channel interview, "I was the breadwinner. The male ego is a fragile thing. It's hard when the woman is the breadwinner. All my life, the only man who ever took care of me financially was my father. I have always taken care of myself." Warwick has been connected romantically with Philadelphia Eagles great Timmy Brown, French singer-songwriter Sacha Distel, actor Phillip Michael Thomas ("Miami Vice"), Seagram heir and CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr., and Las Vegas restaurateur and actor Gianni Russo ("The Godfather").
On January 18, 1969, while living in East Orange, NJ, Warwick gave birth to her first son, David Elliott. Elliott is a singer-songwriter (Luther Vandross' "Here and Now" among others) and a former Los Angeles police officer. In 1993, David co-wrote with Terry Steele the Dionne Warwick-Whitney Houston duet "Love Will Find A Way" featured on her album Friends Can Be Lovers. Since 2002, David has toured with and performed duets with his famous mother periodically, and had his acting debut in the film "Ali" as the singer Sam Cooke. In 1973, Warwick's second son Damon Elliott was born. Damon Elliott is a noted music producer (M?a, Pink, Keyshia Cole) and arranged and produced his mother's 2006 Concord release My Friends and Me.
Dionne Warwick made the Top 250 Delinquent Taxpayers List published in October 2007. California Revenue & Taxation Code Section 19195 directs the Franchise Tax Board to publish an annual list of the top 250 taxpayers with liened state income tax delinquencies greater than $100,000 in an effort to collect money from those taxpayers, some of whom have been delinquent since 1987. Dionne Warwick is listed with a tax delinquency of $2,665,305.83 in personal income tax and a tax lien was filed , 1997. As of April 2009, Warwick is still delinquent although now owes $2,185,908.08. Her publicist stated that she is actively paying off the debt.
Dionne Warwick now lives in Brazil. Warwick first visited Brazil in the early 1960s and has become so entranced by the South American country that she has bought a home there and has studied Portuguese.
Warwick's sister Dee Dee Warwick also had a successful singing career, scoring several notable R&B hits, notably "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" in 1967 and "She Didn't Know (She Kept On Talking)" in 1970. In 1971, at the advice of a numerologist, both Dionne and her sister Dee Dee added an "e" to the end of Warwick (thus making their professional last names "Warwicke"). The "e" was eventually dropped in mid-1975. Dee Dee died on October 18, 2008 in a nursing home in Essex County, New Jersey, after a long illness.
Warwick's cousin is singer Whitney Houston, and aunt is gospel singer Cissy Houston, Whitney Houston's mother.