Aaron Neville (born January 24, 1941, New Orleans,
Louisiana) is an American soul and R&B singer and musician. He made his
debut in 1966 with the hit single "Tell It Like It Is", a Number One hit
on the Billboard R&B charts. Neville did not chart again, however, until
1989, when he collaborated with Linda Ronstadt on three consecutive
duets: "Don't Know Much", "All My Life", and "When Something Is Wrong
with My Baby", the first two reached Number One on the Adult
Contemporary charts. Neville has released more than 20 singles,
including three Number Ones on the Adult Contemporary format, and a
fourth on the R&B format.
Career Aaron Neville has had a career as a solo artist and as one of
The Neville Brothers. Of mixed African American and Native American
heritage, his music also features Cajun and Creole influences.
Neville first came to public recognition with "Tell It Like It Is" which
topped Billboard's R&B chart for five weeks in 1967. It also reached #2
on the Hot 100. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold
disc. A remake of the song was a Top 10 Pop hit for the Rock group Heart
featuring Ann and Nancy Wilson in 1981.
In 1989 Neville teamed up with Linda Ronstadt on the album Cry Like a
Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind. Among the duets recorded for the disc
were the #1 Grammy-winning hits "Don't Know Much" and "All My Life".
"Don't Know Much" was certified Gold while the album was certified
Triple Platinum for US sales of more than 3 million.
His other hits have included "Everybody Plays the Fool", his successful
1991 cover of the 1972 Main Ingredient song, that reached #8 on the Hot
100; "Don't Take Away My Heaven", "Hercules" and "Can't Stop My Heart
From Loving You (The Rain Song)." Neville's biggest solo successes have
been on the Adult Contemporary chart, where "Don't Know Much," "All My
Life," and "Everybody Plays the Fool" all reached Number One.
In August 2005 his home in Eastern New Orleans was destroyed by
Hurricane Katrina; he evacuated to Memphis, Tennessee before the
hurricane hit. He moved to Nashville after the storm. and had yet to
return to the city as of early 2008, causing the New Orleans Jazz and
Heritage Festival to temporarily change its tradition of having the
Neville Brothers close the festival. However, the Neville Brothers,
including Aaron, returned for the 2008 Jazzfest, which returned to its
traditional seven-day format for the first time since Katrina. Neville
is in the process of moving back to the New Orleans area, namely the
North Shore city of Covington. Neville performed Randy Newman's
"Louisiana 1927" during NBC's A Concert for Hurricane Relief on
September 2, 2005.
Aaron signed to SonyBMG's new Burgundy Records label in late 2005 and
recorded an album of songs by Otis Redding,
Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke
and others for Bring It on Home…The Soul Classics, released on September
19, 2006. The album, produced by Stewart Levine, features collaborations
between Neville and Chaka Khan, Mavis Staples, Chris Botti, David
Sanborn, Art Neville, and others. The album's first single was a remake
of The Impressions' 1963 classic "It's All Right."
Neville's career has included work for television, movies and sporting
events. Neville sang the National Anthem in the movie The Fan starring
Robert De Niro and Wesley Snipes. He also sang the anthem at the WWF's
SummerSlam 1993 and at WCW Spring Stampede in 1994. Neville sang the
theme music to the children's TV series Fisher-Price Little People. He
also sang a new version of "Cotton," for Cotton, Inc. which was
introduced during the 1992 Summer Olympics. In 1988 he recorded "Mickey
Mouse March" for Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from
Vintage Disney Films, one of Various Artists. In 2006, Neville sang "The
Star-Spangled Banner", alongside Queen Of Soul
Aretha Franklin and
Dr. John on keyboard at Super Bowl XL in
Detroit, Michigan. In addition, Neville (along with brothers Art and
Cyril) did background vocals for the songs "Great Heart", "Bring Back
the Magic", "Homemade Music", "My Barracuda", and "Smart Woman (in a
Real Short Skirt)" on Jimmy Buffett's Hot Water, released in 1988.
On October 27, 2006, Neville made a guest appearance on an episode of
the soap opera The Young and the Restless. He sang "Stand By Me" and
"Ain't No Sunshine", from his album, Bring It on Home … The Soul
Classics. In 2008 he released Gold, which includes a double album of his
Neville's oldest son Ivan is also a musician and released an album, If
My Ancestors Could See Me Now, in 1988, which yielded a Top 40 hit with
"Not Just Another Girl." Ivan has also performed with
The Rolling Stones and
Bonnie Raitt, and played bass for Keith
Richards on his first solo tour. Ivan then assembled his own band (Ivan
Neville's Dumpstphunk) which tours and frequently appears in New
Neville's third son, Jason, is a vocalist and rap artist who has
performed with his father and with the Neville Brothers, notably at the
2009 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
In 2009, Neville, along with the Mt. Zion Mass Choir, released a version
of the song "A Change Is Gonna Come" on the compilation album, Oh Happy
Neville is a Roman Catholic with a devotion to St. Jude, to whom he
has credited his success and survival. He wears a St. Jude Medal as a