Entertainment

The smooth sounds of Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick is known for her collaboration with songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David. The three of them had hits like "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?," "Message to Michael," "This Girl's in Love With You," "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" and "Reach Out for Me."

From 1962-74, the trio racked up 30 hit singles and almost 20 best-selling albums. Along the way Warwick received five Grammy Awards.

Now in her 46th year as a performer, she will make a stop in the Bill Heard Theatre on Friday.

Warwick's landmark achievements include:

 The second African-American solo artist to win the prestigious Best Contemporary Female Performance Grammy (the first was Ella Fitzgerald).

 The first African-American solo artist to have 12 consecutive Top 100 hit singles from 1963-66.

 One of the first female singers to popularize classic movie themes to mainstream listeners.

 The first African-American female recording artist (since Lena Horne) to appear in a movie, "Slaves," in 1968.

 Also, in 1968, she became the first African-American woman to appear before Queen Elizabeth II at a Royal Command performance.

 In 1976, Warwick became the first female artist to win Best Female Pop and Best Female R&B Performance Grammys.

 In 1985, Warwick, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder and Elton John collaborated with Bacharach and David to produce "That's What Friends Are For," which raised millions of dollars for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR).

 She created the Carr/Todd/Warwick Production Inc., which produces television and film projects.

 Warwick is the co-founder of the Dionne Warwick Design Group Inc. With partner Bruce Garrick, Dionne has been responsible for designing numerous international projects ranging from private estates to world-class hotels which, she notes, are "all affordable."

 She works as U.S. Ambassador for Health; global ambassador for the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization.

 In 2003, she received a lifetime achievement award from the R&B Foundation, and she was selected as one of the 2003 Top Faces of Black History.

Columbus promoter Mike Blackwell is bringing Warwick to Columbus.

How old were you when you first started singing? I was 6 years old.

And how old were you when you knew you were good at it? I was told at that time that I was good.

I think you will forever be associated with Burt Bacharach and Hal David. When did you first meet them? This is true, Bacharach-David-Warwick will and have always been known as the triangle marriage that worked. We met 46 years ago.

Do you have a favorite song of theirs that you still love to sing? All of them.

You've worked with a lot of different producers. How did someone like Barry Manilow or Barry Gibb make a difference in your albums? Each producer that I have worked with have their own special sound and way of working that is unique to them and this is what makes it interesting to work with new producers on projects.

In the movie, "Clueless," the two main characters are named Cher and Dionne. One of them explains to the new girl that they were both named for singers who were popular earlier but now do infomercials. Did you see the movie? I've not seen the film so I may go out and buy the DVD.

Do you ever regret doing the informercial? No.

When you're not performing, what do you do to relax? I try to catch up on all of the sleep that eludes me while on the road.

What CD are you listening to right now? Ivan Lins, a Brazilian artist.

What's next on your schedule? Movies? Television? Recording? Plays? I have just completed a gospel CD and it should be out toward the holiday season. I will be doing my concerts, recording and TV as usual.


IF YOU GO

What: Legendary singer Dionne Warwick in concert

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Bill Heard Theatre, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, 900 Broadway

Tickets: $35 and $45

Ticket Special: WGSY-FM purchased 200 tickets, so the first 100 people at the box office today can buy one ticket and get one free

Information: 706-256-3612

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