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Donnie Hathaway was born on this date in 1946. He was a Black composer and vocalist.
He was born in Chicago but grew up in St. Louis and began singing gospel at age three. Hathaway attended Howard University on a fine arts scholarship and was a classmate of Roberta Flack. He began recording for Curtis Mayfield's Curtom label in 1969 and signed with Atco Records. His single, "The Ghetto," was a mild hit, but the duet "You've Got a Friend" with Flack was his first Top Ten R&B market leader.
They would later score two Number 1 hit duets, "Where Is the Love" and "The Closer I Get To You." Both were also Top Ten pop sensations. Hathaway’s vocal sound, delivery, and quality have influenced singers from Stevie Wonder to George Benson. At the same time, his compositions have been recorded by various artists, including Cold Blood, Jerry Butler, the Staple Singers, Carla Thomas, and Aretha Franklin.
Hathaway and Flack had two concluding hits, "You Are My Heaven" and "Back Together Again," in 1980, after Hathaway stunned everyone by committing suicide in 1979 at age 33.