Dionne Warwick is an American singer and actress who became a United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization, and a United States Ambassador of Health.
Best known for her partnership with Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Warwick ranks as the 20th most popular hit-maker of the entire rock era, based on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Charts. According to Billboard Magazine, Warwick ranks second only to Aretha Franklin as the most popular female vocalist with 56 chart singles on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998.
Warwick was born Marie Dionne Warrick to parents Mancel Warrick, who began his career as a Pullman porter and subsequently became a chef, a gospel record promoter for Chess Records and later a Certified Public Accountant; and Lee Drinkard Warrick, manager of The Drinkard Singers, the renowned family gospel group and RCA recording artists, in East Orange, New Jersey.
Dionne began singing gospel as a child at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. She performed her first gospel solo at the age of six and frequently joined The Drinkard Singers. Warwick’s aunt, Emily “Cissy” Houston, and her sister Delia, who in time became better known professionally as Dee Dee Warwick, also performed with the family group. Other family members include Dionne’s brother, Mancel Warrick, Jr., who was killed in an accident in 1968 at the age of 21.