You're the First, the Last, My Everything

Barry Eugene Carter (September 12, 1944 July 4, 2003), better known by his stage name Barry White, was an American singer and songwriter. A two-time Grammy Award winner known for his bass voice and romantic image his greatest success came in the 1970s as a solo singer and with The Love Unlimited Orchestra, crafting many enduring soul, funk, and disco songs such as his two biggest hits: "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" and "You're the First, the Last, My Everything". He grew up in the Watts neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles, California. White was jailed for four months at the age of 16 for stealing $30,000 worth of Cadillac tires (equivalent to about $300,000 in 2022). While in jail, he listened to Elvis Presley singing "It's Now or Never" on the radio, an experience he later credited with changing the course of his life. White had another moment of inspiration on his 18th birthday, which also was the first day back for his graduating year of high school. He skipped class to walk to Capitol Records headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, and stood across the street from the office staring for hours. Seeing the liveliness of the area it inspired him to work in Hollywood and the entertainment industry after, despite not knowing how to read or write music. White was overweight for most of his adult life and suffered from related health problems. He was also known to be a heavy smoker, reportedly smoking approximately 150 cigarettes a day; roughly between 7 and 8 packs. White's unstable health prevented him from receiving a new kidney and on 4th of July, 2003, he died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after suffering cardiac arrest; he was 58 years old. His remains were cremated, and the ashes were scattered in the ocean off the California coast.
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