Albert Greene (born April 13, 1946), better known as Al Green, is an American gospel and soul music singer. He reached the peak of his popularity in the 1970s, with hit singles such as "You Oughta Be With Me," "Spending My Time," "Love and Happiness", and "Let's Stay Together". In 2005, Rolling Stone named him #65 in their list of the '100 Greatest Artists of All Time'. The nomination, written by Justin Timberlake, stated that "people are born to do certain things, and Al was born to make us smile." The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Green in 1995, referring to him as "one of the most gifted purveyors of soul music." Green has sold more than 20 million records
Green's debut album was Green Is Blues, a slow, horn-driven album that allowed Green to show off his powerful and expressive voice. The album was a moderate success. The next LP, Al Green Gets Next to You (1970), was a massive success that included four gold singles as Green developed his vocal and songwriting talents. Let's Stay Together (1972) was an even bigger success, as was I'm Still In Love With You (1972). Call Me was a critical sensation and just as popular at the time; it is one of his most fondly remembered albums today. Al Green Explores Your Mind (1974) contained his own song "Take Me to the River", which was later turned into an R&B hit (#7) by label-mate Syl Johnson and also covered by Talking Heads (#26 Pop) on their second album.
On October 18, 1974, Mary Woodson White, a girlfriend of Mr. Green's, assaulted him before committing suicide at his Memphis home. Although she was already married, Mrs. White reportedly became upset when Mr. Green refused to marry her. Ironically, Green had peaked at #32 on the Hot 100 with "Let's Get Married" earlier in 1974.
Green cited the incident as a wake-up call to change his life. He became an ordained pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis in 1976. Continuing to record R&B, Green saw his sales start to slip and drew mixed reviews from critics. 1977's The Belle Album was critically acclaimed but did not regain his former mass audience. In 1979, Green was injured while performing, and interpreted this accident as a message from God. He then concentrated his energies towards pastoring his church and gospel singing.
Wikipedia contributors. Al Green. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. February 10, 2010, 00:38 UTC. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Al_Green&oldid=343049943. Accessed February 20, 2010.