PP Arnold: A conversation with London's First Lady of Soul


Early Life and Career Beginnings:

Born Patricia Ann Cole in 1946 in Los Angeles, California, PP Arnold discovered her passion for music at a young age. Growing up in the vibrant landscape of gospel, R&B, and soul, she honed her vocal prowess in church choirs and local talent shows.

Becoming an Ikette:

In the mid-1960s, destiny intervened when PP Arnold caught the attention of Ike and Tina Turner. Joining their renowned ensemble as a backing vocalist, she embarked on a whirlwind journey across the globe, igniting stages with her electrifying presence.

Rise to Prominence:

It was in the heart of swinging London that PP Arnold’s star truly ascended. Collaborating with iconic figures like The Rolling Stones, Small Faces, and The Beatles, she carved her niche as a solo artist, captivating audiences with her soul-stirring performances.

The First Cut Is the Deepest:

In 1967, PP Arnold unleashed her debut single “The First Cut Is the Deepest,” a timeless anthem that soared to the top of the charts, cementing her status as a rising star. This seminal track laid the foundation for a string of hits, including “Angel of the Morning” and “If You Think You’re Groovy,” which solidified her position as a leading voice in the soul music landscape.

Artistic Evolution:

With each successive release, PP Arnold continued to push artistic boundaries, seamlessly blending elements of soul, pop, and gospel into her signature sound. Her dynamic vocal range, paired with poignant lyricism, resonated with audiences worldwide, earning her critical acclaim and adoration from fans across generations.

PP Arnold: Hitmaker

PP Arnold enjoyed several major British hits. She also recorded songs written by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane from labelmates Small Faces who backed her on several recordings; she had a brief romantic liaison with Marriott in 1967. She toured with the Small Faces during 1967–68, made several TV appearances with them, and featured as backing vocalist on two of their biggest hits, Itchycoo Park and Tin Soldier.  Other credits in this period include her duet with Rod Stewart on the single “Come Home Baby” (produced by Mick Jagger)

Legacy and Influence:

Beyond her chart-topping success, PP Arnold’s impact extends far beyond the realm of music. As a trailblazing artist of color in the 1960s, she shattered stereotypes and paved the way for future generations of musicians. Her enduring legacy is a testament to the transformative power of music to unite, inspire, and transcend barriers.

Recent Projects and Collaborations:

In recent years, PP Arnold has continued to captivate audiences with her soulful performances, collaborating with esteemed artists and producers across genres. From electrifying live shows to acclaimed studio recordings, she remains a dynamic force in the ever-evolving landscape of music.


In the tapestry of music history, PP Arnold’s legacy shines brightly as a beacon of soulful expression and unwavering passion. With a career spanning decades and an indelible impact on the fabric of popular culture, she remains an enduring icon whose influence reverberates across generations.

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