Dionne Warwick!

By Russ:

Scintillating, Soothing and Sensual best describe the legendary voice of the one and only Dionne Warwick, who has become a cornerstone of American pop music and culture. Her career has spanned more than 48 years, establishing her as an international music legend. She has earned more than 60 charted hits and sold over 100 million records.

In the 1960s this over-the-top American female singer first came into prominence. For those who remember her classic Bacharach/David recordings, “Walk on By,” “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” “A House Is Not a Home,” this post is for you. Here is a lady of many records, both in music and achievement.

Her long-standing career is quite remarkable as an American singer, actress and TV show host, who became a United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization, and a United States Ambassador of Health.

She ranks among the 40 biggest hit makers of the entire rock era (1955–2012), based on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Charts. Dionne Warwick is second only to Aretha Franklin as the most-charted female vocalist of all time with 56 of Dionne’s singles making the Billboard Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998.

She is a major artist in a relatively new genre that emerged during that time… Adult Contemporary Music.






Dione3Dionne Warwick
(born Marie Dionne Warrick; December 12, 1940)



Dionnne Warwick and Whitney Houston – That’s What Friends Are For


Dionne and Barry Manilow – I Know I’ll Never Love This Way Again


Dionne with Roberta Flack – Killing Me Softly


To say that Dionne came from a very musical family is a bit of an understatement. Her future as a great singer would be predestined before her birth.

There was a choral group that started in Savannah, Georgia back in 1938 by a factory worker, Nicholas “Nitch” Drinkard, who encouraged his children to form a gospel singing group.

The original Drinkard singers, known as the “Drinkard Jubilairs”, consisted of Cissy (Emily Drinkard) , several sisters and brothers. One sister, Lee Drinkard, started out as a manager of the group and later joined them as a vocalist.

Lee Drinkard would marry and become Lee Warrick and become the mother of Delia and Dionne Warrick. Her sister Emily Drinkard, would marry as Emily “Cissy” Houston and become the mother of Dionne’s cousin, Whitney Houston.

Little Dionne began singing gospel music as a child at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. She performed her first gospel solo at the tender age of six and frequently joined The Drinkard Singers. Her first televised performances were in the mid-and late 1950s with the Drinkard Singers on local television stations in New Jersey and New York City.

Video – Dionne (as an adult) singing lead with the Drinkard Singers – her aunt Ann Drinkard Moss was conducting the choir

In 1958, Dionne, her sister Delia (who by this time had begun to be known professionally as “Dee Dee” Warrick, Myrna Utley, Carol Slade formed their own singing group, which they called “The Gospelaires.”

In 1959, Dionne graduated from East Orange High School and was awarded a scholarship in Music Education to the Hartt College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut (from which she earned a Masters degree, and which would later award her an honorary Doctorate in Music Education in 1973).

Early Group Singing

New York’s Apollo Theatre in the Harlem District was the site of the Gospelaires’ first public performance together, where they won a weekly amateur contest. Various other singers would join them from time to time, including Cissy Houston, and Doris Troy (whose chart selection “Just One Lookfeatured backing vocals of the Gospelaires when she recorded it in 1963).

One night at the Apollo, a man came backstage seeking background singers for a session for saxophonist Sam ‘The Man’ Taylor. Dionne attributes this backstage encounter with the actual start of her professional career.

The Gospelaires would eventually become the “Sweet Inspirations”, which had some chart success, but were much sought-after as studio background singers in the New York recording scene for artists such as Garnet Mimms, The Drifters, Jerry Butler, Solomon Burke and later Dionne’s recordings, Aretha Franklin, and Elvis Presley.

It was at one of these recording sessions the Drifters were cutting a song called “Mexican Divorce” with the Gospelaires doing backup vocals, that Dionne’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 lyricist Hal David.

DionneBacharachDionne Warrick with Burt Bacharach

During the Drifters session, Bacharach asked Dionne if she would be interested in recording demos of some of his songs to be used to pitch his songs to record labels.

One such demo, destined to be recorded by Scepter Records -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!”
It’s Love That Really Counts

An Aside: Burt Bacharach and Hal David

Burt Bacharach is, quite simply, one of the most accomplished composers of the 20th Century. In the 1960s and ’70s, Bacharach was a dominant figure in popular music, writing a remarkable 52 Top 40 hits. In terms of musical sophistication, Bacharach’s compositions differed from much of the pop music of the era. Bacharach songs typically boasted memorable melodies, unconventional and shifting time signatures, and unique chord changes. Combining elements of jazz, pop, Brazilian music and rock, Bacharach created a unique new sound that was as contemporary as it was popular.

Lyricist Hal David, Bacharach’s primary collaborator, infused Bacharach’s music with tart, melodramatic lyrics worthy of the best Tin Pan Alley composers. David’s bittersweet, unsentimental lyrics were often in striking contrast to Bacharach’s soaring melodies. While in the late 1970s Bacharach’s name became synonymous with elevator music (due in great part to its sheer familiarity), a closer listening suggests that his meticulously crafted, technically sophisticated compositions are anything but easy listening.
The Scepter Recordings

Warwick was signed to Bacharach’s and David’s production company, which in turn was signed to Scepter Records in 1962 by Greenberg. The partnership would provide Bacharach with the freedom to produce Dionne without the control of recording company executives and company A&R men.

Warwick’s musical education and ability would also allow Bacharach to compose more challenging tunes. According to a July 14, 1967, article 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 of that era.

One of the many Bacharach/David compositions was “Make It Easy on Yourself” and they had Dionne sing a demo version of this for shopping to get a big name singer.

Now around this time Dionne was planning on putting out her own debut album and thought this song would be a nice track to include. So when she heard “Make It Easy on Yourself” had been given to another artist, Jerry Butler, in anger she snapped at producers Bacharach and David, “Don’t make me over!”.

Dionne’s demo version of “It’s Love That Really Counts“, along with her original demo of “Make It Easy on Yourself“, would be included in her debut Scepter album, titled Presenting Dionne Warwick, which was released early in 1963.


In 1963 from the phrase “Don’t make me over“, Bacharach and David created their first top 40 pop hit (#21) and a top 5 U.S. R&B hit.
No Lip-Syncing in this video…

Dionne Warrick’s name was misspelled as “Warwick” on the single’s label, and she began using the new spelling both professionally and personally.

Early stardom

The two immediate follow-up singles 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.

This Empty Place
Let The Music Play

Quite simply, Dionne Warwick had become the priority act of Scepter Records. They had struck gold with her debut album.

Her fourth single, “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” timed to release in December 1963, was Warwick’s first top 10 pop hit (#8) in the U.S. and also became an international hit.
This was followed by “Walk On By” in April 1964, a major international hit and million-seller that solidified Dionne’s career.
Warwick was able to weather the British Invasion better than most other American artists. Her UK hits were most notably “Walk On By” and “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

In the UK, there was a lot of covering of American hits going on and a number of Bacharach-David-Warwick songs were covered by British singers Cilla Black, Sandie Shaw and Dusty Springfield.

Most notably, Cilla Black’s cover of “Anyone Who Had a Heart” soared to No. 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 Britain. 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.

Sure enough, “You’re My World” — was recorded in no time by Black — but in fact it would not even be released as a single by Warwick, but would appear on a later album, Dionne Warwick in Valley of the Dolls, released in 1968.

For the rest of the 1960s, Warwick was a solid fixture on the U.S. and Canadian charts, with much of her output from 1962 to 1971 bing written and produced by the Bacharach/David team.

An example of an exception to the Bacharach/David formula, is this album called Soulful, produced in 1968.


This album contained covers of some great R&B songs of that time. Here is such a track:
Do Right Woman – Do Right Man

Dionne Warwick was named the Best-selling 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’s influential Music Poll of 1970 named her the Top Female Vocalist.

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.”

On Wednesday, September 17, 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.

Other Scepter LPs certified RIAA Gold include

  • Dionne Warwick’s Golden Hits Part 1 released in 1967
  • The Dionne Warwicke Story: A Decade of Gold released in 1971.*

* For many years, Dionne was an aficionado of psychic phenomena, and was advised by astrologer Linda Goodman in 1971 to add an “e” to her last name so she would have a balanced name: Dionne Warwicke. Goodman convinced her that the extra small “e” would add a vibration needed to bring her good fortune. Unfortunately, Goodman proved to be mistaken about this. 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.

By the end of 1971, Dionne Warwick had sold an estimated 35,000,000 singles and albums internationally in less than 9 years and more than 16,000,000 singles in the USA alone.

Unfortunately, exact figures of Warwick’s sales are unknown and probably underestimated, due to Scepter Records apparently lax accounting policies and the company policy of not submitting recordings for RIAA audits.

The Warner Brothers Recordings

In 1971, Dionne Warwick left the family atmosphere of Scepter Records to work for Warner Bros. Records, for a $5 million contract, with Bacharach and David as her songwriters and producers. This would be the most lucrative recording contract ever given to a female vocalist up to that time, according to Variety Magazine.

Following her signing with Warner, Dionne returned to New York City’s 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).


This Dionne (Warner) album would represent the last work of the trio, Warwick/Bacharach/David. It made poor showing, compared to earlier works, peaking at #57 on the Billboard Hot 100 Album Chart.

Breakup of Bacharach & David

In 1972, Burt Bacharach and Hal David scored and wrote the tunes for the motion picture Lost Horizon. But the critics panned the film, and in the fallout the songwriting duo decided to terminate their professional relationship. It just was not working for them anymore.

This break-up of Bacharach and David left Dionne with no producers and no songwriters. However, she was still contractually obligated to fulfill her Warner commitment even without them, so she had to team up with a variety of other producers during her tenure with the label.

In 1975, Bacharach and David sued Scepter Records for an accurate accounting of royalties that were owed to the team from their recordings with Warwick and label mate B.J. Thomas. They were awarded almost $600,000 and the rights to all Bacharach/David recordings on the Scepter label. With the defection of Warwick to Warner Bros. Records, Scepter filed for bankruptcy in 1975 and was sold to Springboard International Records in 1976.

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 her, Dionne filed a $5.5 million lawsuit against her former partners for breach of contract.

In 1978 the lawsuit would be settled out of court for $5 million, including the rights to all Warwick recordings produced by Bacharach and David.

Without the guidance and songwriting that Bacharach/David had provided, Warwick’s career stalled in the 1970s. There were no big hits during that decade aside from 1974’s “Then Came You“, recorded as a duet with the Spinners and produced by Thom Bell.
Thom Bell
Thom Bell

Bell later noted,

“Dionne made a (strange) face when we finished [the song]. 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.”

Then Came You” was Dionne’s first U.S. #1 hit (without Bacharach/David) on the Billboard Hot 100. Other than this success, Warwick’s five years on Warner Bros. Records were no longer fruitful.

Two notable songs recorded during this period were “His House and Me” and “Once You Hit The Road” (#79 pop, #5 R&B, #22 Adult Contemporary) — both of which were produced in 1975 by Thom Bell.

His House and Me
Once You Hit The Road

Warwick recorded five albums with Warner:

  • Dionne (1972), produced by Bacharach and David and a modest chart success;
  • Just Being Myself (1973), produced by Holland-Dozier-Holland;
  • Then Came You (1975), produced by Jerry Ragovoy;
  • Track of the Cat (1975), produced by Thom Bell;
  • Love at First Sight (1977), produced by Steve Barri and Michael Omartian.

The singer’s five-year contract with Warner expired in 1977, and with that, Warwick ended her stay at the label.

Other collaborations followed; Dionne released an album in 1977 entitled ‘A Man and A Woman‘, coupling her voice with that of Isaac Hayes.

The Arista Recordings

With the move to Arista Records, Dionne was again enjoying top success on the charts with her first Platinum-selling album “Dionne” produced by Arista label-mate Barry Manilow.


This album included the back-to-back hits “I’ll Never Love This Way Again“, an RIAA certified million seller, and “Déjà vu“, an Isaac Hayes song.

I’ll Never Love The Way Again
Déjà vu

Both recordings earned Grammy Awards, making Warwick the first female artist to win the Best Female Pop and Best Female R&B Performance awards.

The Dionne (Arista) album was certified Platinum in the United States for sales exceeding one million units. The album peaked at #12 on the Billboard Album Chart and made the Top 10 of the Billboard R&B Albums Chart.

Warwick 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.

In 1980, Dionne won the NARAS Grammy Awards for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” and Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female for “Déjà Vu“. Dionne became the first female artist in the history of the awards to win in both categories the same year.


Her second Arista album, 1980’s No Night So Long sold 500,000 U.S. copies and featured the title track which became a major success — hitting #1 Adult Contemporary and #23 on Billboard’s Hot 100 — and the album peaked at #23 on the Billboard Albums Chart.

In January 1980, while under contract to Arista, Dionne hosted a two-hour TV special called Solid Gold ’79. This was so successful that it was adapted into a weekly one-hour show Solid Gold, which she hosted throughout 1980 and 1981 and again in 1985-86.

Major highlights of each show were the duets she performed with her co-hosts, which often included some of Dionne’s hits and her co-hosts’ hits intermingled and arranged by Solid Gold musical director, Michael Miller.

1982 was the year of Warwick’s next big hit which came by her full-length collaboration with Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees for the album Heartbreaker.


This project came about when Clive Davis was attending his aunt’s wedding in Orlando, Florida in early 1982 and he spoke with Barry Gibb.

Barry Gibb 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 obviously hit it off as both the album and the title single were released in October 1982 to massive success.

Heartbreaker” became one of Dionne’s biggest international hits, once again returning her to the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 — for the first time since 1979 — as well as #1 Adult Contemporary and No. 2 in both Great Britain and Australia.

Internationally, the tune was also a Top 10 hit throughout continental Europe, Australia (#1), Japan, South Africa, Canada and Asia.

The title track was taken from the album of the same name which sold over 3 million copies internationally and earned Dionne an RIAA USA Gold record award for the album. In Britain, the disc was certified Platinum.

Dionne later stated to Wesley Hyatt in his ‘Billboard Book of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits‘ that she was not initially fond of “Heartbreaker” but recorded the tune because she trusted the Bee Gees’ judgment that it would be a hit.

In 1982 the song “That’s What Friends Are For” was written by Burt Bacharach and his wife Carole Bayer Sager and introduced by Rod Stewart for the soundtrack of the film Night Shift.

Then in 1985 Dionne reunited with Bacharach, and with long time friends Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder and Elton John to record and release “That’s What Friends Are For” as a single to raise money for AIDS charities.


Gladys Knight, Elton John, Stevie Wonder & Dionne Warwick live!

This single became a #1 hit record around the world and the first recording dedicated to raising awareness and funding for the AIDS research, which Warwick continually supports.

In 1983 Dionne released the album How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye, produced by Luther Vandross. The album peaked at #57 on the Billboard album chart.


The album’s most successful single was the title track, “How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye” a Warwick/Vandross duet, which peaked at #27 on the Billboard Hot 100.

This song also became a Top 10 hit on the Adult Contemporary and R&B charts.

Of note was a reunion with the original Shirelles on Warwick’s very soulful cover of “Will You (Still) Love Me Tomorrow?

In 1985 the album Finder Of Lost Loves was produced and this project reunited Dionne with both Barry Manilow and Burt Bacharach, who was writing with his then current 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 Willie Nelson, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, and Ray Charles.

The song spent four consecutive weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. It was the year’s biggest hit — certified four times Platinum in the United States alone.

In 1987 Dionne released this album, which featured her singing duets with other artists.


The album’s title song, “ Reservations For Two” a duet with Dionne and Kashif, was a chart hit.
Dionne scored another hit on this same album, her eighth career #1 Adult Contemporary hit that also reached #5 in R&B and #12 on Billboard’s Hot 100; a song written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, “Love Power” as a duet with Jeffrey Osborne.

Other artists featured on this album included Smokey Robinson and June Pointer.

During the 1990s, 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 $3,000,000 per year as spokesperson for the network.

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. Dionne was reunited with her old friend Burt Bacharach in the studio yet another time to record the album.


This album featured a song called “Sunny Weather Lover“, which was the first song that Bert Bacharach and Hal David had ever written together in 1972, exactly twenty years from the song’s release.
A follow-up song, “Where My Lips Have Been” peaked at #95 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks, featuring Everette Harp.

1994 marked the end of Warwick’s contract with Arista Records.

It’s All Over and Beyond…

In 1990 Dionne recorded a song “It’s All Over” with former member of Modern Talking Dieter Bohlen (Blue System). The single peaked at #60 (#33 airplay) on the German pop charts and it appears on Blue System’s album “Déjà 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.

On October 16, 2002, Dionne Warwick was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

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 would re-release this CD with new cover art.

In 2005, Dionne Warwick was honored by Oprah Winfrey at her Legends Ball.

Warwick appeared on the May 24, 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 15-year tenure at Arista and released My Friends and Me, a duets album on which she sang with various female singing stars on thirteen of her old hits. 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 follow-up album featuring Warwick’s old hits as duets with male vocalists was planned but the project was cancelled. The relationship with Concord concluded with the release of My Friends and Me.

A compilation CD of her greatest hits and love songs “The Love Collection” entered the UK pop charts at #27 on February 16, 2008.

Dionne Warwick’s second gospel album, “Why We Sing“, was 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, 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, the Sugababes, Pink, Gabriella Climi and Anastacia.

In 2008 Dionne began recording an album of songs from the Sammy Cahn and Jack Wolf songbooks. The finished recording, entitled Only Trust Your Heart, would be released in the US by MPCA Records distributed by SonyRed, on March 15, 2011.

On October 20, 2009, Starlight Children’s Foundation and New Gold Music Ltd. released a song that Dionne recorded about 10 years prior called “Starlight“. The lyrics had been written by Dean Pitchford, prolific writer of Fame, screenwriter of — and sole or joint lyricist of every song in the soundtrack of — the original 1984 film Footloose, and lyricist of the Solid Gold theme, and the music had been composed by Bill Goldstein, whose versatile career included the original music for NBC’s Fame TV series.

Dionne, Dean and Bill announced that they were donating 100% of their royalties to Starlight Children’s Foundation as a way to raise money to support Starlight’s mission to help seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities.

When Bill and Dean brought this song to me, I instantly felt connected to its message of shining a little light into the lives of people who need it most”, said Warwick. “I admire the work of Starlight Children’s Foundation and know that if the song brings hope to even just one sick child, we have succeeded.

In March 2011, Warwick appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice 4. Dionne’s charity was the Hunger Project. She was dismissed from her “apprenticeship” to Donald John Trump during the fourth task of the season.

In February 2012, Warwick performed “Walk On By” on The Jonathan Ross Show. She also received the Goldene Kamera Musical Lifetime Achievement Award in Germany, and performed “That’s What Friends Are For” at the ceremony.

On 28 May 2012, Warwick headlined the World Hunger Day concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall. She sang the anthem, One World One Song, specially written for the Hunger Project by Tony Hatch and Tim Holder and was joined by Joe McElderry, the London Community Gospel Choir and a choir from Woodbridge School, Woodbridge, Suffolk.

Personal life

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 was listed with a tax delinquency of $2,665,305.83 in personal income tax and a tax lien was filed July 24, 1997. The IRS eventually discovered that a large portion of the lien was due to an accounting error, and revoked $1.2 mil of the tax lien.

On May 8, 2010, Dionne received an honorary Doctor of Arts from Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illinois.

Warwick lived in Brazil, a country she first visited in the early 1960s until 2005, according to an interview with JazzWax, when she moved back to the United States, when her mother and sister became ill. She became so entranced by Brazil, that she studied Portuguese and commenced to divide her time between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. In April 2010, in an interview on talk-show Programa do Jô, she said Brazil was the place where she intended to spend the rest of her life after retiring.

In 1993, her older son David, a former Los Angeles police officer, co-wrote with Terry Steele the Warwick-Whitney Houston duet “Love Will Find a Way“, featured on her album, Friends Can Be Lovers. Since 2002, he has toured with and performed duets with his mother periodically, and had his acting debut in the film “Ali” as the singer Sam Cooke. David became a singer-songwriter, with Luther Vandross’ “Here and Now” among others to his credit.

Her second son, Damon Elliott, is also a noted music producer, who has worked with Mýa, Pink, and Keyshia Cole. He even arranged and produced his mother’s failed 2006 Concord release My Friends and Me.


Warwick’s sister Dee Dee Warwick also had a successful singing career, scoring several notable R&B hits, including the original version of “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” and “I Want To Be With You”, from the Broadway version of the musical ‘Golden Boy’.

Warwick’s cousin was singer Whitney Houston, and her aunt is Gospel-trained vocalist Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mother.

Dionne Warwick speaks about Whitney Houston’s passing | ABC Good Morning America | 3.8.2012

Always one to give back, Warwick has supported and campaigned for a number of causes and charities near to her heart, including AIDS, The Starlight Foundation, children’s hospitals, world hunger, disaster relief and music education, for which she has raised millions of dollars. A New Jersey school was named in her honor, The Dionne Warwick Institute, in recognition of her support and accomplishments.


Warwick declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New Jersey on March 21, 2013. Due to the reported mismanagement of her business affairs, she lists liabilities that include nearly $7 million owed to the Internal Revenue Service for the years 1991 to 1999 and more than $3 million in business taxes owed to the state of California. Unable to work out an agreement with tax officials, she and her attorney decided that declaring bankruptcy would be the best course of action.


Dionne Warwick seen in New Jersey after filing for bankruptcy (Splash News)

At the age of 72, the pop and R&B legend who once reaped seven-figure pay cheques and a glittering lifestyle is down to her last $1,000 in cash and mired in $10 million of tax debt, it claims.

The 50-page document, lodged in a New Jersey bankruptcy court, provides in humiliating detail the particulars of Warwick’s personal finances, even down to her monthly $90 bill for garbage disposal and the fact that, on March 17, she underwent a debt counselling session over the internet.

In spite of current money issues, the second most charted female artist of all time, Ms. Dionne Warwick is the embodiment of an American Dream. She’s evolved from backup singer to five-time Grammy Award winner, US Ambassador of Health to Honorary Doctor of Music.

– Russ Strathdee Sept.11,2013



Presenting Dionne Warwick (Scepter Records 1963)

Anyone Who Had A Heart (Scepter Records 1964)

Make Way For Dionne Warwick (Scepter Records 1964)

The Sensitive Sound Of Dionne Warwick (Scepter Records 1965)

Here I Am (Scepter Records 1966)

Dionne Warwick In Paris (Scepter Records 1966)

Here Where There Is Love (Scepter Records 1967)

Dionne Warwick Onstage And In The Movies (Scepter Records 1967)

The Windows Of The World (Scepter Records 1967)

Dionne In The Valley Of The Dolls (Scepter Records 1968)

Magic Of Believing (Scepter Records 1968)

Promises Promises (Scepter Records 1968)

Soulful (Scepter Records 1969)

Dionne Warwick’s Greatest Motion Picture Hits (Scepter Records 1969)

I’ll Never Fall In Love Again (Scepter Records 1970)

Very Dionne (Scepter Records 1970)

The Dionne Warwick Story Live (Scepter Records 1971)

Dionne (Warners Brothers Records 1972)

From Within (Scepter Records 1972)

Just Being Myself (Warners Brothers Records 1973)

Then Came You (Warners Brothers Records 1975)

Track Of The Cat (Warners Brothers Records 1975)

with Isaac Hayes: A Man And A Woman (HBS Records 1977)

Only Love Can Break A Heart (Musicor Records 1977)

Love At First Sight (Warners Brothers Records 1977)

Dionne (Arista Records 1979)

No Night So Long (Arista Records 1980)

Hot! Live And Otherwise (Arista Records 1981)

Friends In Love (Arista Records 1982)

Heartbreaker (Arista Records 1982)

So Amazing (U.K. title) (Arista Records 1983)

Finder Of Lost Loves (Arista 1985)

Friends (Arista Records 1985)

Without Your Love (Arista Records 1985)

Reservations For Two (Arista Records 1987)

Dionne Warwick Sings Cole Porter (Arista Records 1989)

Friends Can Be Lovers (Arista Records 1993)

Aquarela Do Brazil (Arista Records 1995)

Dionne Sings Dionne (River North Records 1998)

Dionne Sings Dionne Vol. 2 (River North Records 2000)

Soulful Plus (Rhino Handmade Records 2004)

My Favorite Time Of The Year (DMI Records 2004)

My Friends and Me (Concord Records 2006)

Why We Sing (Rhino Records 2008)

Only Trust Your Heart (Red Distribution 2011)


5 thoughts on “Dionne Warwick!”

  1. Great post, guys. I’m in shock, and disbelief, regarding how a music star of her stature can have such outrageous financial mismanagement take place, forcing her to go bankrupt in her early 70s?!! It’s very humbling, to say the least. Either way, her voice is beautiful, and the Bacharach collaborations are probably my favorite of her recordings.


      1. Right, there are so many good songwriting teams, period! Ellington/Strayhorn, Goffin/King, Jagger/Richards, Page/Plant; there are many others that I’ve missed, and should immerse myself in, undoubtedly.


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