Rita Coolidge was born in Lafayette, Tennesee, a small town outside Nashville, and began her musical career playing organ in church.
Talented in many artistic disciplines, Coolidge enrolled at Florida State University as an art major but leaning more towards musical endeavours she set out to Memphis seeking a career in music.
She quickly found work singing jingles, commercials and backup vocals for several artists, including Delaney & Bonnie.
As her reputation as an A-list singer grew, Coolidge began to gain recognition as a solo artist and soon embarked on a national tour with Joe Cocker, and was signed to A&M records at its conclusion.
She released several dozen albums, including the multi-platinum Anytime, Anywhere, which yielded the singles (Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher, The Way You Do The Things You Do and We’re All Alone.
Married to Kris Kristofferson for eight years, the two recorded together and earned two Grammy awards as Best Country Duo. She also appeared with Kristofferson and Bob Dylan in Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid (1973) and shared the stage with Dylan, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Buffet.
She sang the international hit All Time High – the theme to the James Bond film Octopussy (1983) – and launched VH1 as one of the original Veejays when the video channel began.
Coolidge’s success in the United States was duplicated internationally in Japan, Canada, Holland, Germany, Australia and England.