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Al Green Biography


Home > Music > G > Green, Al > Biography


Birth Name: Albert Greene
Born: 1946/04/13
Birth Place: Forrest City, Arkansas
Years Active: 1967 – present
Genres: R&B, Gospel, Soul


Albert Greene (born April 13, 1946), better known as Al Green, is an American gospel and soul music singer. He reached the peak of his popularity in the 1970s, with hit singles such as "You Oughta Be With Me," "I'm Still In Love With You," "Love and Happiness", and "Let's Stay Together".

In 2005, Rolling Stone named him #65 in their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Green in 1995, referring to him as "one of the most gifted purveyors of soul music." Green has sold more than 20 million records.

Green's debut album with Hi Records was "Green Is Blues." The album was a moderate success. The next LP, "Al Green Gets Next to You" (1970), included a hit remake of the Temptations classic "I Can't Get Next to You", and more significantly, Green's first of seven consecutive gold singles, "Tired of Being Alone". "Let's Stay Together" (1972) was an even bigger success, as was "I'm Still In Love With You" (1972). "Call Me" was a critical sensation and just as popular at the time. "Al Green Explores Your Mind" (1974) contained his own song "Take Me to the River", which was later turned into an R&B hit (#7) by label-mate Syl Johnson and also covered by Talking Heads (#26 Pop) on their second album.

He became an ordained pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis in 1976 and continues to serve in this capacity, delivering services down the street from Graceland. 1977's "The Belle Album" was critically acclaimed but did not regain his former mass audience. In 1979, Green was injured while performing, and interpreted this accident as a message from God. He then concentrated his energies towards pastoring his church and gospel singing. His first gospel album was "The Lord Will Make a Way."

From 1981 to 1989 Green recorded a series of gospel recordings, garnering eight "soul gospel performance" Grammys in that period. In 1985, he reunited with Willie Mitchell for "He Is the Light," his first album for A&M Records. After spending several years exclusively performing gospel, Green began to return to R&B. First, he released a duet with Annie Lennox, "Put A Little Love In Your Heart" for Scrooged, a 1988 Bill Murray film. In 1989 Green worked with producer Arthur Baker writing and producing the international hit "The Message Is Love".

In 1992, Green recorded again with Baker, the Fine Young Cannibals, and reunited with his former Memphis mix engineer (this time functioning as producer) Terry Manning, to release the album "Don't Look Back". His 1994 duet with country music singer Lyle Lovett blended country with R&B, garnering him his ninth Grammy, this time in a pop music category. Green's first secular album in some time was "Your Heart's In Good Hands" (1995).

By 2003 Green released a non-religious album entitled "I Can't Stop," his first collaboration with Willie Mitchell since 1985's "He is the Light." In March 2005 he issued "Everything's OK" as the follow up to "I Can't Stop." Green also collaborated with Mitchell on this secular CD. In 2008, Green's album "Lay It Down marked" his full return to chart success, reaching #9 on the Billboard hit album chart. It was his most successful album release in 35 years.