Vocal superstar Patti Austin has literally sung it all: jazz, commercials, backup singing for pop and rock acts, a string of R&B hits and a dizzying list of credits. Now entering her seventh decade of performing and on the heels of her Grammy Award-winning album Avant Gershwin, Austin is truly a vocalist without peer.
Born in Harlem, Austin’s career started out somewhat auspiciously: as a four year old, she took the stage at the Apollo Theater at the invitation of Dinah Washington, and wowed the crowd with “Teach Me Tonight” (after first telling the band they were playing it in the wrong key!). By age 5 she had a recording contract, and could be heard on countless commercials and jingles for the next 20 years. At one time her voice could be heard on 75 different commercials running concurrently nationwide. A successful R&B artist, she saw 20 of her singles reach the R&B, Billboard Hot 100, and Dance Music charts, including the Quincy Jones-produced “Do You Love Me?” and the Jimmy Jam-Terry Lewis produced “The Heat Of Heat.”
Austin has logged thousands of recording sessions, and has been featured on other artists’ recordings: duets like “It’s the Falling in Love” with Michael Jackson on his album Off The Wall, George Benson (“Moody’s Mood for Love” and “Keep Your Dreams Alive”), Luther Vandross (“I’m Gonna Miss You In The Morning”), Johnny Mathis (“You Who Brought Me Love”) and many more.
Austin has done anything but rest on her laurels lately. She recently co-founded the Over the Shoulder Foundation, dedicated to mentoring programs for at-risk youth. She is also an inveterate advocate against domestic violence. read more about these projects at pattiaustin.com.
Patti’s new record, Sound Advice, is set to be released in May 2011.