The ‘80s: Karyn White’s Self-Titled Debut

Los Angeles native Karyn White began her musical journey like many other singers, karynwhitesinging in church and eventually working as a background vocalist. Old school fans will remember hearing her voice on Jeff Lorber’s 1986 album Private Passion, singing on tunes such as “True Confessions,” “Back In Love,” and “Facts Of Love.” White later signed with Warner Bros. and released her eponymous debut album in 1988. Karyn White was a hit out of the box, but with L.A. Reid and Babyface, one of the hottest production teams at the time, writing and producing the majority of the tracks on the album, it was pretty hard to go wrong.

The first single, “The Way You Love Me,” topped the R&B chart, and hit the Top 10 on the pop and dance charts. The ballad “Love Saw It,” a duet with Babyface, also karynwhitealbummade it to #1 on the R&B chart, while the single “Secret Rendezvous” was a hot dance track in the clubs and made it to the top of the dance chart and the Top 10 on the pop and R&B charts.

Arguably, the most popular song from the album was the ballad “Superwoman,” a tune White admits that, even 28 years later, people still sing to her when they see her on the street. “Superwoman” topped the R&B chart, peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100, made it to the Top 20 on the adult contemporary chart and peaked at #11 in the UK. The song has since been covered by various artists, among them, Gladys Knight in 1991 (joined by Dionne Warwick and Patti LaBelle), and singer Heather Headley covered the tune in 2012. Karyn White became a multi-platinum, Grammy Award-nominated smash, topping the R&B albums chart and hitting the Top 20 in the US and the UK.

—Montrose Cunningham

Montrose Cunningham is a Dallas, Texas-based, independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado, with a Master of Science degree in Marketing. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughters, sometimes at the same time. Purchase his release Inertia at www.cdbaby.com/cd/montrose, follow him on Twitter @MontroseC and check out his blog, Daddy Rock Star.

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