The 32 Best Dionne Warwick Quotes

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

They say that in American life there are no “second acts.”

Well, tell that to the legendary Dionne Warwick, who rose to fame in the mid-20th century as a standout singer and performer and now, much later, has emerged as a star of social media.

But somehow the 81-year-old New Jersey-born artist has reinvented herself—or, at least, found a new arena in which to showcase her savvy, sassy self.

But what does the “Walk On By” singer have to say about life and love, the world around her, family, and much more?

That is the subject of today’s inquiry. So, without further ado, here are the 32 best Dionne Warwick quotes.

1. “Crying is cleansing. There’s a reason for tears, happiness, or sadness.”

2. “My self-imposed mandate is to be the voice for the voiceless.”

3. “I have no desire to look back, I only want to look forward to the things that are still ahead of me.”

4. “I have bought a lot of beautiful clothes with my money, but I’ve also earned it.”

5. “I treat others exactly the way I want to be treated.”

6. “Healthy children are born from healthy, respected, well-nourished and educated mothers and it is imperative that they have a voice in the decisions which affect them. If you empower a mother and let her have her say towards a poverty-free future, the positive impact this would have on ending hunger will be immense.”

7. “I have been blessed with some incredible compositions to record and perform and all of my songs have had the ability to grow as I and those who have supported this career of mine for these 50 years have.”

8. “I look at the careers of people I’m standing on the shoulders of. People like Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr., and Sarah Vaughan. These are icons I wanted to emulate, and I feel like they’ve been holding me up for quite a long time.”

9. “My songs are like my children. I love every single one of them.”

10. “I like Brazilians and I like their values. They believe in family.”

11. “I first came to Brazil in the Sixties. Then I started coming back every year since touring most of the country. I grew to love it, the people, the music. I thought this is where I belong. I’ve been living in Brazil for the past 23 years. I call it my stress-free country.”

12. “I love what I do. I was given the most incredible gift that can be given to anyone. I could never imagine a world without music, and I feel grateful that I’ve been given the ability to share that.”

13. “Country music is so related to gospel. It seems I could go down that road pretty easily.”

14. “Rural communities in Africa, South Asia, and Latin America are where the majority of hungry people are and the inequality that exists between women and men in these communities is holding back progress.”

15. “I don’t think there’s anything I can’t do. I have no regrets.”

16. “We are all here to be a service to those who can’t be a service to themselves. We can give people hope and more reasons for being human.”

17. “I try to be cognizant of when and how and what I eat and get as much rest as I possibly can, as that helps the vocal cords.”

18. “I was told by my grandfather who was a minister that we all were put here on earth to be of service to one another, and it is quite gratifying to know that if I am able to be of help to one that is not able to help themselves then I am fulfilling my obligation as a human being.”

19. “My motto in life is ‘If you think it, you can do it’ and if we all apply that thought we can end hunger the world over.”

20. “I am an outspoken person. I believe in what I say.”

21. “I was born into a family of gospel singers. My early ambitions were many. I was going to be a ballerina. I almost had that one come true until I tore a tendon, so I transferred from my toes to my throat and that’s where the talent settled.”

22. “All my friends and peers keep asking me when I’m going to rest—I just tell them it’s another dirty four-letter word!”

23. “The problem with fame is you no longer belong to you. You lose your persona and become the object of other people’s obsession. I feel watched 90% of the time, but that is something I drew with the cards that I drew.”

24. “The Civil Rights for Musicians Act is about economic justice for African American artists. It’s about what’s right. And it’s about time.”

25. “Do you know that other than my father, I’ve never had a man take care of me?”

26. “It is frustrating to be a Black woman in the entertainment industry.”

27. “My parents gave me stability and a belief in myself and in all the possibilities life has to offer. I was told the only limitations I would ever face were those I placed upon myself.”

28. “The music for me is paradise. I think it’s where God lives.”

29. “I had said before that I’d never write an autobiography because I’ve been around, and there’s a lot that I’ve seen and heard that stays with me. That’s just mine. I didn’t want to do a kiss-and-tell, as some of my peers have.”

30. “It was step by step that I earned my way into the lives and hearts of people by giving them recordings that I grew to love and as I found my listening audience also grew to love.”

31. “I’d like to see a world free of strife, stress, pain, hunger, war – a cool place where everyone could live.”

32. “I don’t give advice. 90% of the time nobody takes it anyway. I will give encouragement and if asked a question as to how, or why I did certain things, and if I think this will help whoever is asking the question, I will do this.”

Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Stan Ponte

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