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Music Hall of Fame - Soul Singer Lenny Williams Tags: music hall fame soul singer lenny williams word life production new quality entertainment featured

Ultimate soul crooner and Oakland native, Lenny Williams, possesses one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary music.  With his rich, passionate vocal style, he is rightfully regarded as one of R&B’s most influential soul men.

Williams began his musical career making records that have become R&B and Pop classics (e.g. “Cause I Love You” and “So Very Hard To Go”, which he recorded as the lead singer of Tower of Power).  Lenny Williams’ style has transcended into the new millennium, influencing many of today’s most popular R&B and Hip Hop artists.

Lenny sounds better than ever as he continues to keep the focus on love.  “Love is what has gotten me through all of these years.  I look for love and I surround myself with it”, Lenny says.  When it comes to singing love songs, one must “go there to know there”.  Williams is able to take the listener to the heart of love with such soulful simplicity; no one does it better.

Though born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Lenny moved to Oakland at a very young age.  Learning to play the trumpet in elementary school fueled his interest in music.  Lenny’s skills as a vocalist were first nurtured by singing in gospel choirs and groups around the Bay Area, working alongside up and coming artist Sly Stone, Andre Crouch, Billy Preston and members of the Hawkins family – Edwin, Walter and Tramaine.

After winning several local talent contests, Williams signed his first record deal with Fantasy Records.  He recorded two singles for the label, including “Lisa’s Gone” [now regarded as an R&B classic among British soul music lovers] and “Feelin Blue”, written by John Fogerty of Credence Clearwater Revival.  Lenny then spent a brief time with Atlantic Records before deciding to put his solo career on hold when he joined the emerging funk band Tower of Power in 1972.  A string of hits ensued, including “So Very Hard To Go” and “Don’t Change Horses (In the Middle of the Stream)” [written by Lenny Williams and Johnny “Guitar” Watson].  During his two years with the group, Lenny not only toured the United State, Europe and Asia, but he also recorded three milestone albums with them – [the gold LP] Tower Of Power, Back To Oakland, and Urban Renewal.

At the end of 1975, Lenny returned to his solo projects.  Initially signing with Motown in 1972, he later moved to ABC Records in 1977 (which was then purchased by MCA Records in 1979).  Over the next four years, Lenny scored ten charted hits, including “Shoo Doo Fu Fu Ooh”, “Choosing You”, “You Got Me Running”, “Love Hurt Me Love Healed Me” and “Midnight Girl”.  Lenny recorded four more albums from 1977 – 1980, Choosing You (his first gold LP), Spark of Love, Love Current and Let’s Do It Today.  These albums established a solid and loyal following for Lenny.  The impact of his music can still be felt today, particularly the mega hit “Cause I Love You” [Spark of Love].

In 1986, Lenny was invited to sing vocals on “Don’t Make Me Wait For Love”, a song from superstar saxophonist Kenny G’s multi-platinum selling album Duo Tones.  When released as a single in 1987, the song became a Top 20 Pop and R&B hit.

Over the past few years, Lenny has continued his solo career, touring the U.S., Europe and South Africa.  In 2004 and 2005, Lenny and Kanye West were honored recipients of the BMI Songwriter’s Award for the song “Over Night Celebrity”, recorded by rapper Twista.  He has recently shared stages with Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, K-Jon, Anthony Hamilton, The Whispers, Rick James, Boney James, Bobby Womack, The Ohio Players, Al Green, Usher and Frankie Beverly & Maze.  Lenny has also expanded his multi-dimensional career to include acting, starring in several popular stage plays.  As an icon of the past and present, Lenny Williams continues to expand his musical prowess and flex his newfound acting skills.  He’ll surely continue to wow his fans in the United States and beyond for decades to come.

 Now Doctor Williams since receiving his honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degree from California State University, Lenny has the right musical prescription to soothe real music lovers.  “I’m going to continue to evolve and grow as I learn and experiment lyrically and musically.  I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve been watching all of the changes going on in the music business.  I have my own label now (Bridle Ridge Records).  Let me do my thing”, Lenny says.  Indeed, music lovers everywhere want him to do those things of which he’s the musical master.  Like a flowering perennial, prolific soul man Lenny Williams is always prepared for the spotlight in which he belongs.

Source: Official Website

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