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Aaron Neville Biography

Home > Music > N > Neville, Aaron > Biography

Born: 1941/01/24
Birth Place: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Years Active: 1966-present
Genres: Soul, R&B

Aaron Neville (born January 24, 1941, New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American soul and R&B singer and musician. Neville has had a career as a solo artist and as one of The Neville Brothers. Of mixed African American and Native American heritage, his music also features Cajun and Creole influences.

He made his debut in 1966 with the hit single "Tell It Like It Is", a #1hit on the Billboard R&B charts. Neville did not chart again, however, until 1989, when he collaborated with Linda Ronstadt on three consecutive duets: "Don't Know Much", "All My Life", and "When Something Is Wrong with My Baby", the first two reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts. Neville has released more than 20 singles, including three #1s on the Adult Contemporary format, and a fourth on the R&B format.

Neville first came to public recognition with "Tell It Like It Is" which topped Billboard's R&B chart for five weeks in 1967. It also reached #2 on the Hot 100. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.

In 1989 Neville teamed up with Linda Ronstadt on the album “Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind.” Among the duets recorded for the disc were the #1 Grammy-winning hits "Don't Know Much" and "All My Life". "Don't Know Much" was certified Gold while the album was certified Triple Platinum for US sales of more than 3 million.

His other hits have included "Everybody Plays the Fool", his successful 1991 cover of the 1972 Main Ingredient song, that reached #8 on the Hot 100; "Don't Take Away My Heaven", "Hercules" and "Can't Stop My Heart From Loving You (The Rain Song)." Neville's biggest solo successes have been on the Adult Contemporary chart, where "Don't Know Much," "All My Life," and "Everybody Plays the Fool" all reached #1.

Neville signed to SonyBMG's new Burgundy Records label in late 2005 and recorded an album of songs by Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke and others for “Bring It on Home…The Soul Classics,” released on September 19, 2006. The album, produced by Stewart Levine, features collaborations between Neville and Chaka Khan, Mavis Staples, Chris Botti, David Sanborn, Art Neville, and others. The album's first single was a remake of The Impressions' 1963 classic "It's All Right."

Neville sang the theme music to the children's TV series “Fisher-Price Little People.” He also sang a new version of "Cotton," for Cotton, Inc. which was introduced during the 1992 Summer Olympics. In 1988 he recorded "Mickey Mouse March" for “Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films,” one of Various Artists. In addition, Neville (along with brothers Art and Cyril) did background vocals for the songs "Great Heart", "Bring Back the Magic", "Homemade Music", "My Barracuda", and "Smart Woman (in a Real Short Skirt)" on Jimmy Buffett's “Hot Water,” released in 1988. In 2008 he released “Gold,” which includes a double album of his hits.

Neville is an inductee of the Delta Music Museum Hall of Fame in Ferriday, Louisiana.

In 2009, Neville, along with the Mt. Zion Mass Choir, released a version of the song "A Change Is Gonna Come" on the compilation album, “Oh Happy Day.”