We are pretty sure you all are familiar with former Saturday Night Live cast mem…

Written by on November 8, 2018

We are pretty sure you all are familiar with former Saturday Night Live cast member / actress Maya Rudolph. Well, her mother, if she were still with us, would have been celebrating her 71st birthday today. Maya's mom was the legendary Minnie Riperton.

Minnie grew up on Chicago's South Side. As a child, she studied music, drama, and dance at Chicago's Lincoln Center. In her teen years, she sang lead vocals for the Chicago-based girl group, The Gems. Her early affiliation with the legendary Chicago-based Chess Records afforded her the opportunity to sing backup for various established artists such as Etta James, Fontella Bass, Ramsey Lewis, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, and Muddy Waters. While at Chess, Riperton also sang lead for the experimental rock/soul group Rotary Connection, from 1967 to 1971.

During Minnie's solo career, she scored a #1 hit with the song "Lovin' You" on April 5th of 1975.

In January 1976, Riperton was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a radical mastectomy. By the time of diagnosis, the cancer had metastasized and she was given about six months to live. Despite the grim prognosis, she continued recording and touring. She was one of the first celebrities to go public with her breast cancer diagnosis, but did not disclose she was terminally ill. In 1977, she became a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society. In 1978, she received the American Cancer Society's Courage Award which was presented to her at the White House by President Jimmy Carter.

We lost Minnie on July 12, 1979. She was only 31 years old.

Happy Birthday Minnie. Return If Possible.

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