With a smooth, deep voice like no other, Barry White’s timbre is immediately recognizable. Whether he’s helping to save snakes in The Simpsons or setting the mood.
Videos by American Songwriter
For the Galveston, Texas-born White, who passed away in 2003 at 58 years old, music was a way of life. The two-time Grammy Award-winner also boasted 20 gold and 10 platinum singles. He enjoyed record sales of more than 100 million albums and today he’s one of the most successful artists of all time.
While the world knows White’s bassy voice, some may wonder what the acclaimed musician had to say about the world around him. What were White’s thoughts on life, love, and his craft? Without further ado, here are the best 18 Barry White quotes.
1. “There are people making babies to my music. That’s nice.”
2. “When I commit, I commit with my whole heart, my whole being. I know the Bible like the back of my hand.”
3. “People are always looking for me to be a freak, weird.”
4. “When I saw corruption, I was forced to find truth on my own. I couldn’t swallow the hypocrisy.”
5. “As a boy, I believed freedom for America meant freedom for me. There was a time I believed every word spoken.”
6. “Disco deserved a better name, a beautiful name because it was a beautiful art form. It made the consumer beautiful. The consumer was the star.”
7. “One preacher turned me on, another turned me off.”
8. “The whole system of society tells you what to do.”
9. “We were ready to launch Barry White, but the record company wouldn’t put it out. Said it wouldn’t sell.”
10. “I went to jail at 16 for stealing tires off Cadillacs. When I got out I said, Never again.”
11. “I try to tell a story musically in a song.”
12. “Mama tried to save us from the streets, but the streets were too strong.”
13. “No one could understand the bond between me and my brother. I struggled to understand the forces that drove his soul in one direction and mine in another.”
14. “I’ll come to you with gifts of knowledge, wisdom and truth.”
15. “I quit high school on my birthday. It was my senior year and I didn’t see the point. This was 1962, and I was ready to make music.”
16. “I don’t know if it’s my music, my lyrics, my sound, and knowing the music business the way I do—all I can say is, my career has lasted way longer than I expected.”
17. “The cops picked me up for attempted murder. I can still see the detectives, licking their chops. Thought they had me. Two weeks later, the cat came out of a coma and told the truth. I was innocent.”
18. “We forget that this music, music made by my brothers and sisters, is still a baby. It’s just beginning. When I think of the possibilities, it makes me smile.”
Photo by Hülzer/ullstein bild via Getty Images