Al Green, soul legend, received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award in October 200l.
Al Green, soul legend, received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award in October 200l. He is responsible for such soul classics as "Love and Happiness", Let's Stay Together" and "Belle". His autobiography "Take Me To The River" and a hit collection by the same name, were released in 2000. Publishers Weekly said "Labeled by many as the last great soul man, Green writes with modesty and with great spirit about his career".
His career began at age nine when he performed as part of his father's gospel group, The Green Brothers. The quartet toured the South during the 50's and later moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan where Al formed a new R&B group, "Al Green and the Creations" later to become "Al Green and the Soulmates". In 1968 the group scored an R&B Top 5 single with "Back Up Train".
By 1969, Green, in close collaoration with producer Willie Mitchell, had begun a solo career, releasing his debut album "Green Is Blues". His 1970 follow-up album "Al Green Gets Next To You" went gold, thanks to the hit single "Tired of Being Alone". The 1973 album "Call Me" contained three Top 10 singles. Al was now an R&B superstar, known for his soulful voice, interesting musical arrangements and energetic live shows. In 1974, following a tragic accident, Green found God and became a preacher at the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church in Memphis, Tennessee where he still preaches to this day. Though he released three more albums for Hi Records, the label which "discovered him" Al became weary of the music industry and founded his own studio, American Music, in 1977. His next two albums, "The Belle Album" (1977) and "Truth and Time" (1978) were self-produced by Green.
Then, one day in 1979, Green accidentally fell off the stage while performing in concert and barely avoided serious injury. Being convinced that this turn of events was a message from God to abandon secular music, Green shifted his focus and began recording albums of a Christian nature, mostly gospel standards, religious pop and R&B tunes. In the mid 80's Green began to return to the mainstream, signing to A&M Records, and, teamed with Annie Lennox, recorded a cover of "Put A Little Love In Your Heart" for the "Scrooged" soundtract. In 1989 Green scored his first Top 40 R&B single in over a decade with "As Long As We're Together", a duet with Al B. Sure.
By 1995, Green had made a full comback to secular music, moving to BMG Records and releasing the long-awaited soul, full-length, "Your Heart's In Good Hands". In that same year, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Green continues his ministry at the Full Gospel Tabernacle, where he often sings for his congregation.
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