Grammy-winning country singer Lari White passed away last tuesday after a brief battle with cancer. She was 52. This is a tribute to her. Lots of good music and nice memories.
White's mother, Yvonne White, said the songstress died at 4.44am with her husband and songwriter Chuck Cannon and their three children at her side.
Lari White was diagnosed in September with advanced peritoneal cancer, a rare form of cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue lining the abdomen. White detailed many of her complications and hospital visits in a post on Artistworks, where she had been teaching online vocal lessons. In the November post to her students, White explained that since her diagnosis she had a series of complications including pain management, pneumonia and a bowel obstruction requiring emergency surgery that has 'kept me in and out of the hospital fighting for my life'. 'It has been my joy to share some of the vocal techniques I use and I hope you will all continue with your journey to become better singers,' she told her students.
White was born May 13, 1965, in Dunedin, Florida. As a child, she sang in her family's gospel group, The White Family Singers, which comprised her parents, sister, and brother. White sang at talent contests and performed in a local rock band called White Sound as well. She later studied vocals and music engineering at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, and while in college, she started to write her own music and perform in local clubs. She was a classmate of The Mavericks' Paul Deakin.
White made her first national appearance in 1988 on the talent show You Can Be a Star on The Nashville Network (now known as Paramount Network), where she won first prize, which included a recording contract with Capitol Records. Although her debut single "Flying Above the Rain" received airplay in the Southern United States, it failed to chart and White was dropped from Capitol's roster without releasing anything else.
She later joined a publishing house owned by Ronnie Milsap and began to take acting lessons, eventually performing at local dinner theaters. After attending an ASCAP showcase in 1991, she was invited by Rodney Crowell to sing in his backing band. White was then signed in 1992 to RCA Records, releasing her debut album Lead Me Not a year later. The album, produced by Crowell, included three singles: "What a Woman Wants", the title track, and "Lay Around and Love on You". All three of these singles entered the Billboard country charts, and although none reached Top 40, the album peaked at No. 36 on the Top Heatseekers charts.