Rita Coolidge: beginnings

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Music History: Rita Coolidge, born on May 1, 1945, in Lafayette, Tennessee, is a renowned American singer known for her versatile voice and contributions to multiple music genres, including rock, pop, jazz, and country. Coolidge's early life was marked by her exposure to music from a young age, influenced by her parents. Her father was a minister, and her mother was a schoolteacher, and both encouraged her musical talents.

Coolidge attended Florida State University, where she pursued art, but her passion for music led her to Los Angeles in the late 1960s. Her breakthrough came when she began working as a backing vocalist for prominent artists such as Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, and Leon Russell.

She gained significant recognition for her contributions to Joe Cocker's "Mad Dogs & Englishmen" tour and album in 1970, which showcased her powerful vocals and stage presence. This exposure helped her secure a solo recording contract with A&M Records.

Coolidge's solo career took off in the 1970s with hits like "Higher and Higher" and "We're All Alone." She became known for her smooth, soulful voice and ability to convey deep emotion through her music. Her collaborations with then-husband Kris Kristofferson also brought her further acclaim, resulting in several successful albums and Grammy Awards.

Throughout her career, Coolidge has continued to explore various musical styles and remains a respected figure in the music industry.

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Kris Kristofferson
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