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Millie Jackson

An R&B star with a stunning voice, Millie was born Mildred Jackson in Thompson, near Augusta, Georgia, on 15 July 1944.

She spent her formative years in Newark, New Jersey, and began singing in New York after a debut at Palms Cafe in Harlem.

At 17, Millie moved to Brooklyn so she would be closer to the clubs but, unable to get a cabaret performer’s licence due to her youth, she found it hard to get gigs and had to work by day to support herself.

milliejackson

A skilled pianist, she wrote songs and put in many long hours of rehearsal, perfecting her voice and playing till, in 1964, the work started rolling in.

In 1969, after a decade in the business, Millie Jackson cut her first record and though nothing much happened with it, the experience was a valuable taster and gave her the determination to find the right production team and song to give her a hit.

It was her third single, Ask Me What You Want, which really established Millie, making Top 20 and confirming that a new female soul talent had really arrived.

Caught Up was Millie’s triumphant 1974 concept album about cheating, with the first side featuring songs from the perspective of the mistress, and the second side from the wife.

Her extravagant multi-media ‘System’ tour of 1978 incorporated comedians, slide shows and The Moments in a blistering three-hour production.