Patti Austin

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Patti Austin
Austin in 2000
Austin in 2000
Background information
Born (1950-08-10) August 10, 1950 (age 73)
Harlem, New York, U.S.
GenresR&B, pop, jazz
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Years active1954–present

Patti Austin (born August 10, 1950) is an American Grammy Award-winning R&B, pop, and jazz singer and songwriter best known for "Baby, Come to Me", her 1982 duet with James Ingram, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 after its re-release that same year.

Music career[edit]

Austin was born in Harlem, New York, to Gordon Austin, a jazz trombonist.[1] She was raised in Bay Shore, New York on Long Island.[2] Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington referred to themselves as her godparents.[3][4]

When Austin was four years old, she performed at the Apollo Theater. As a teenager she recorded commercial jingles and worked as a session singer in soul and R&B. She had an R&B hit in 1969 with "Family Tree".[4] She sang backing vocals on Paul Simon's 1975 number-one hit "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover". The jazz label CTI released her debut album, End of a Rainbow, in 1976.[5] She sang "The Closer I Get to You" for Tom Browne's album Browne Sugar, a duet with Michael Jackson for his album Off the Wall, and a duet with George Benson on "Moody's Mood for Love".[5]

After singing on Quincy Jones's album The Dude, she signed a contract with his record label, Qwest, which released Every Home Should Have One with "Baby, Come to Me", a duet with James Ingram that became a No. 1 hit on the Billboard magazine pop chart. A second duet with Ingram, "How Do You Keep the Music Playing", appeared on soundtrack to the film Best Friends (1982). Her final album for Qwest, The Real Me contained versions of jazz standards. Austin moved on to [5]

GRP for four releases, including Love Is Gonna Getcha, which contained the singles "Good in Love" and "Through the Test of Time".[5]

Austin sings with the Moscow Jazz Orchestra at the Sochi Jazz Festival in Russia in August 2017

Austin was booked for United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, but because her mother suffered a stroke days before, she cancelled her ticket and flew at a different time.[6]

In 2003, she collaborated with Frances Yip on Papillon III in the rotunda of San Francisco City Hall to help the Jade Ribbon Campaign of Stanford University. A companion CD/DVD was released with Austin and Yip singing duets in Mandarin.[7]

A performance in 2000 with the Germany-based WDR Big Band[4] led to later recordings with the Germany-based ensemble that yielded two of Austin's six Grammy nominations:[8] For Ella (2002) was a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.[4][5] A 2007 release with the band and arranger Michael Abene, Avant Gershwin, earned her the trophy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance.[citation needed]

During a 2007 interview, Austin spoke of reluctantly attending as a teenager one of Judy Garland's last concerts and how the experience helped focus her career. "She ripped my heart out. I wanted to interpret a lyric like that, to present who I was at the moment through the lyric."[9]

In 2011, Sound Advice was released containing cover versions of Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody", Brenda Russell's "A Little Bit of Love", the Jackson Five's "Give It Up", Bill Withers' "Lean on Me", and Don McLean's "Vincent". The album also included "The Grace of God", a song Austin wrote after watching an episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show which included a woman with scarred face. Austin appeared in the documentary film 20 Feet from Stardom, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was released on June 21, 2013.[citation needed]

In 2015, Austin appeared on Patrick Williams' Home Suite Home large jazz ensemble album, as vocalist for Williams' composition "52nd & Broadway," which won a Grammy for Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals.[10]

Awards and honors[edit]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Chart positions Record label


1976 End of a Rainbow 31 CTI
1977 Havana Candy 116
1980 Body Language 62 28
1981 Every Home Should Have One 36 16 9 99 Qwest
1984 Patti Austin 87
1985 Gettin' Away with Murder 182 25
1988 The Real Me 56 7
1990 Love Is Gonna Getcha 93 45 4 GRP
1991 Carry On 75 13
1994 That Secret Place 12
1996 Jukebox Dreams (Japan only) Pony Canyon
1998 In & Out of Love Concord
1999 Street of Dreams Intersound / Platinum
2001 On the Way to Love 21 Warner Bros.
2002 For Ella 7 Playboy Jazz / Concord
2003 "Papillon" featuring Patti Austin and Frances Yip Independence Label
2007 Avant Gershwin 5 Rendezvous
2011 Sound Advice 15 Shanachie
2016 Mighty Musical Fairy Tales Let's Roar
"—" denotes the album failed to chart and/or was not released in that territory

Live albums[edit]

Year Album Chart positions Record label
US Jazz
1979 Live at the Bottom Line 33 CTI
1992 Live 20 GRP
2017 Ella and Louis ABC Jazz
"—" denotes the album failed to chart and/or was not released in that territory


Year Single Peak positions Album
US Hot 100
US Dance
1965 "I Wanna Be Loved" / "A Most Unusual Boy" (Coral 45 #62471)
1966 "Take Away the Pain Stain" (Coral 45 #62491)
1969 "The Family Tree" 46 (United Artists 45 #50520)
1971 "Black California" (Columbia 45 #45410)
1972 "Day by Day" (Columbia 45 #45592)
1977 "Say You Love Me" 63 End of a Rainbow
1978 "Love, I Never Had It So Good" 60 Sounds...and Stuff Like That!!
"We're in Love" 90 Havana Candy
1980 "Body Language" 45 Body Language
1981 "Do You Love Me?" / "The Genie" 24 1 76 Every Home Should Have One
"Razzamatazz" (with Quincy Jones) 17 11 The Dude
"Betcha Wouldn't Hurt Me" (with Quincy Jones) 52
"Every Home Should Have One" 55 62 24 Every Home Should Have One
1982 "Baby, Come to Me" (with James Ingram) 9 1 1 11
1983 "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" (with James Ingram) 6 45 5 Duets
"In My Life" 92 In My Life
1984 "It's Gonna Be Special" 15 82 5 Patti Austin
Two of a Kind original soundtrack
"Rhythm of the Street" 33 11 96 Patti Austin
"Shoot the Moon" 49 16
1985 "Honey for the Bees" 24 6 Gettin' Away with Murder
"Gettin' Away with Murder" 72
"Gimme, Gimme, Gimme" (with Narada Michael Walden) 39 106 87 The Nature of Things
1986 "The Heat of Heat" 13 55 14 76 Gettin' Away with Murder
1990 "Through the Test of Time" 60 9 Love Is Gonna Getcha
1991 "Givin' Into Love" 55 Carry On
1992 "I'll Keep Your Dreams Alive" (with George Benson) 68 Darlings Delight
1994 "Reach" 4 That Secret Place
"—" denotes the single failed to chart and/or was not released in that format


Year Film Role
1978 The Wiz The Wiz Singers Children's Choir / The Wiz Singers Adult Choir (voice)
1988 Tucker: The Man and His Dream Millie
2013 20 Feet from Stardom Herself

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Patti Austin - biography". Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  2. ^ "The New Patti Austin". Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  3. ^ Murph, John. "Patti Austin: 5 Tips for Aspiring Singers". AARP. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d Yanow, Scott (2008). The Jazz Singers: The Ultimate Guide. Backbeat. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-87930-825-4.
  5. ^ a b c d e Wynn, Ron. "Patti Austin". AllMusic. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  6. ^ White, Beverly; Brayton, Julie. "Singer Patti Austin Talks About 9/11 Experience". NBC Los Angeles. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  7. ^ Engardio, Joel P. (May 22, 2002). "Dim Sum Diva". SF Weekly. San Francisco.
  8. ^ "Artist: Patti Austin". Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  9. ^ "Topic Galleries". Archived from the original on May 13, 2007. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  10. ^ "Grammy Award Results for Pat (Patrick) Williams". November 19, 2019. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  11. ^ "Patti Austin". February 15, 2019. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  12. ^ "Jazz Beat: Sonny Rollins, Herb Alpert, Thelonious Monk". MTV News. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Patti Austin US chart history". Archived from the original on February 22, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
  14. ^ a b "Patti Austin Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
  15. ^ "Quincy Jones - full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 4, 2021.

External links[edit]