Aaron Neville is an American R&B singer and musician.
He was born on January 24, 1941, at New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.
He has had four Platinum-certified albums and four Top 10 hits in the United States, including three that went to #1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart. His debut single, from 1966, was #1 on the Soul chart for five weeks.
He has also recorded with his brothers Art, Charles and Cyril as The Neville Brothers and is the father of singer/keyboards playerIvan Neville. Of mixed African American and Native American heritage, his music also features Cajun and Creoleinfluences.
The first of his singles that got airplay outside of New Orleans was “Over You” (Minit, 1960). Neville’s first major hit single was “Tell It Like It Is”, released on a small New Orleans label, Par-Lo co-owned by local musician/arranger George Davis, a friend from school, and band-leader Lee Diamond. The song topped Billboard’s R&B chart for five weeks in 1967 and also reached #2 on the BillboardHot 100. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. It was not the label’s only release, as some sources claim. At least five other Par-Lo singles, three of them by Neville himself, are known to exist.
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” reached #2 on the Hot 100, and was certified Gold for selling a million copies, 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 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 Nashvilleafter the storm. and failing to return to the city by early 2008, caused 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. He then decided to move 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.
See list of songs by Aaron Neville