Darlene Love: The Voice Behind the Hits


Roots of a Songstress: Early Life in Los Angeles

Darlene Love is a highly acclaimed singer and actress whose career spans several decades. Born as Darlene Wright in 1941, in Los Angeles, she began singing in church at a very young age. Her career breakthrough came in the early 1960s when she signed with Phil Spector’s Philles Records.

Phil Spector's Muse: Darlene Love's Journey​

In 1962, under the guidance of Phil Spector, Darlene Love recorded the song “He’s a Rebel” with the Crystals. Although the Crystals were credited as the performers, it was Love’s vocals featured on the track. The song became a massive hit, reaching the top of the charts. This success led to a string of hits for Darlene Love, including “He’s Sure the Boy I Love” and “Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Heart?”

Uncredited Genius: The Voice Behind the Hits

As part of Phil Spector’s collection of musicians known as “The Blossoms” (which included Darlene and other talented vocalists), she provided backing vocals for numerous artists, contributing to hits by artists like The Ronettes, The Righteous Brothers, and more.

Despite her powerful voice and success as a background singer, Darlene Love struggled to achieve recognition as a solo artist due to contractual issues and lack of proper crediting for her work. Her career faced obstacles during the 1970s and 1980s, working odd jobs to support herself and her family.

Her resurgence came in the late 1980s when she performed “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” annually on Late Night with David Letterman. This tradition helped reintroduce Darlene to a new generation of fans and reignited interest in her music. The song became synonymous with the holiday season and remains a beloved classic today.

Christmas Icon: The Timeless Appeal of 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)'

Recognition and Honour: Induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

In 2011, Darlene Love was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, acknowledging her significant contributions to the music industry. Her story was also featured in the Oscar-winning documentary film “20 Feet from Stardom” (2013), shedding light on the lives of backup singers and recognizing their immense impact on popular music.

Rolling Stone Magazine  proclaimed Darlene Love to be “one of the greatest singers of all time” and that certainly rings true, but perhaps Paul Shaffer says it even more concisely: “Darlene Love is Rock N’ Roll!” Through the years, Darlene Love has continued to captivate audiences worldwide with her warm, gracious stage presence and superb performances. She has acted in films and on Broadway and did a recent guest spot on the PBS special entitled Women Who Rock. An autobiographical film is currently on the drawing board with a development deal from Oprah Winfrey based on the book My Name is Love, written by Darlene.

My Name is Love

And then, of course, there's Cher

Earlier this year, Darlene Love picked up the phone and heard a voice on the other end she didn’t quite recognize at first. “Doll, hi!” she heard. “This is Cher.” Darlene asked her to repeat who was calling. “Cher, bitch!” She was calling to see if Love would sing “Christmas Baby Please Come Home” with her on her  holiday album Christmas, revisiting a tune they sang together exactly 60 years ago on A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector, one of the greatest Christmas album in music history.

Darlene said yes, and their duet appears on Cher’s Christmas, out now. It’s the latest chapter in a friendship that goes back more than half a century. The two singers got a chance to catch up recently when Darlene flew in to L.A. for a listening party that Cher hosted. “We recorded the song virtually, so I hadn’t actually seen her yet,” Love says. “I said, ‘Do you want me to make a reservation at a hotel?’ She said, ‘Hotel? You’re going to stay here with me!’ It was so funny. The driver they sent to pick my husband and I up at the airport pulled up to her house and went, ‘Wow, this is a beautiful hotel.’ The two of us had so much fun that night. We were like, ‘Let’s gossip a while.’”

To find out more about Darlene Love head to her website here. And here’s the song from Cher and Darlene Love.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Amy R

    Love that song and Darlene!!

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