Shirley Brown (b. January 6, 1947) is a highly acclaimed and veteran R&B/soul singer with powerful vocals often compared to those of Aretha Franklin who became famous during the mid 1970s. She is best known for the somber ballad, "Woman To Woman" (1974), featuring an extended spoken introduction in which the song's narrator (Shirley) makes a phone call to her husband's mistress (Barbara).
Born in West Memphis, Arkansas and raised in Madison, Illinois, she began singing in church as a child and became well known in the local gospel music community for her stirring performances. She was discovered at age 14 while singing at a local club by Albert King and went on to tour with the famed blues guitarist and singer for nine years. Brown made her first recordings in 1972 on Abet Records before moving to Stax in 1974. She later signed with Arista and a number of other labels before finally moving to Maleco Records in 1989.
Shirley Brown debuted in 1974 with "Woman To Woman," which topped the R&B charts, made the Pop/Rock Top 40, and soon after became a million-seller. This Grammy-nominated smash, which later became a hit in 1978 for Barbara Mandrell on the Country charts, inspired the answer song by Barbara Mason, "From His Woman To You" (1975). Brown's long string of hits through 1989 also includes "It Ain't No Fun" (1975), "Blessed Is The Woman (With A Man Like Mine)" (1977), "I Need Somebody To Love Me" (1977), "After A Night Like This" (1979), and "Ain't Nothin Like The Lovin We Got" (1989, with Bobby Womack). Her final charting song came in 1995 on the R&B charts with "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)."
Shirley Brown has continued to tour and record to the present day and remains a popular live performer, especially in the Southern U.S.
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- It Ain't No Fun 1975
- Woman To Woman 1974
(This song later also became a hit for Barbara Mandrell (1978).)
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