Origins: Galveston, Texas, United States
Genres: Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Funk and Disco
Years Active: 1959–1990
Singer, songwriter, Barry Eugene Carter was born on September 12, 1944 in Galveston, Texas. White was raised in Los Angeles, where he immersed himself in the local music culture at an early age. He made several records during the early '60s, under the name (Barry Lee), and as a member of the Upfronts, the Atlantics and the Majestics. However, he found greater success offstage, guiding the careers of others, including Felice Taylor and Viola Wills. White's distinctive deep voice and romantic lyrics made him an icon of sexy soul.
In 1969, White formed the group Love Unlimited, a female vocal trio made up of Diane Taylor, Glodean James (his future wife) and her sister Linda. He also founded the Love Unlimited Orchestra, a 40-piece ensemble to accompany himself and the singing trio, for which he conducted, composed and arranged.
Love Unlimited's success in 1972 can in large part be attributed to White's throaty vocals in such hits as "Walkin' In The Rain With The One I Love." The group's success rejuvenated White's own career, receiving acclaim for such songs as "I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby" and "Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up" in 1973 and "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe" and "You're The First, The Last, My Everything" in 1974.
Though his pop hits lessened towards the end of the '70s, his live performances remained sold out. The singer's last major hit was in 1977 with "It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me."
During the peak of his career, White earned gold and platinum discs for worldwide sales. The UK singer Lisa Stansfield has often publicly supported White's work and in 1992, she and White re-recorded a version of Stansfield's hit, "All Around The World." During the '90s, a series of commercially successful albums proved White's status as more than just a cult figure.
In May 2003, White suffered a stroke while waiting for a kidney transplant, which he needed due to complications from years of chronic high blood pressure. He died on July 4, 2003 in Los Angeles.