Where Is Deniece Williams Now: A Journey Through the Decades

June 10, 2024

Born June Deniece Chandler on June 3, 1950, in Gary, Indiana, Deniece Williams initially pursued nursing at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, but eventually dropped out to follow her passion for music. Her early career began with performances in college and jobs at a telephone company and Chicago Mercy Hospital, while also making recordings under the name Deniece Chandler. In 1969, she worked briefly with the Lovelites.

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Early Career (Late 1960s–1975)

Deniece Williams started making her mark in the music industry by releasing early records like "I'm Walking Away." Her perseverance paid off as she became known for her association with Stevie Wonder, serving as a backup vocalist on albums like "Talking Book" and "Songs in the Key of Life."

Rise to Stardom (1975–1987)

Association with Stevie Wonder

Her collaboration with Stevie Wonder opened new opportunities, ultimately leading to the release of her first album "This Is Niecy" in 1976, produced by Maurice White and Charles Stepney. The album featured hit songs such as "Free" and "That's What Friends Are For."

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Subsequent Albums

Williams continued to build her repertoire with successful follow-up albums like "Song Bird" (1977) and "When Love Comes Calling" (1979), showcasing her impressive vocal range. Her duet with Johnny Mathis, "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late," reached No. 1, and they released albums like "That's What Friends Are For."

Gospel Career (1980–1987)

In the 1980s, Williams began incorporating more Gospel music into her work, marked by her noteworthy performance at the 27th Annual Grammy Awards. Her gospel albums, including "So Glad I Know" (1986), netted her Grammy wins, and she released impactful works like "Special Love" and "This Is My Song."

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R&B, Gospel, and Jazz (1987–2000)

Throughout this period, Williams continued to release successful albums such as "Water Under the Bridge" (1987) and "As Good As It Gets" (1988), with singles like "Never Say Never." She also collaborated with artists like Nancy Wilson, George Duke, Stevie Wonder, and Spyro Gyra, earning a Grammy for "This Is My Song."

Recent Career (2000–Present)

Williams has remained active in the music scene, releasing albums like "Love, Niecy Style" in 2007 and performing at significant events, including the re-opening of the Glen Theater in Gary, Indiana. She also introduced the KOP—Kids of Promise program, focusing on education and performing arts in Gary. Her recent works include the single "When You Love Somebody" (2020) and the EP "Gemini" (2021).

Vocal Profile

Deniece Williams is celebrated for her distinctive soprano and remarkable four-octave vocal range. She is praised for her vocal agility and high notes, often compared to legends like Mariah Carey and Minnie Riperton.

Personal Life

Williams has been married three times and has four sons. Professionally, she has kept the surname Williams since her first marriage.

Awards and Honors

Over her illustrious career, Williams has won four Grammy Awards out of thirteen nominations. In 2021, she was honored as one of the first inductees into the Women Songwriters Hall of Fame and received keys to the city of Kingston, Jamaica, in 2023.

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