Today in Music History: July 4, 2003
"The Sultan of Smooth Soul"
During his teenage years, White and his brother got involved with crime and gang activity. At the age of 17, he was jailed for four months for stealing $30,000 worth of Cadillac tires.
While in jail, White 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.During his musical career, White achieved 106 gold albums worldwide, 41 of which also attained platinum status. White had 20 gold and 10 platinum singles, with worldwide records sales in excess of 100 million, he is one of the world's best-selling artists of all time. His influences included Rev. James Cleveland, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin plus Motown artists The Supremes, The Four Tops and Marvin Gaye.
His two biggest hits: "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" and "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe"