On Her 53rd Birthday, Lari White Remembered for Breadth of Talent

Affected Music Industry as Singer, Songwriter, Producer and Actor

Although prodigiously talented as a singer, songwriter, actress and producer, Lari White never achieved stardom. But her impact on the entertainment business was substantial and still evident when she died of cancer on Jan. 23, 2018 at the age of 52. Her 53rd birthday is Monday (May 13).

The Florida-born singer performed in local and family bands and studied voice and sound engineering at the University of Miami before coming to Nashville to compete in the You Can Be a Star talent series, which she won. Her victory netted her a recording contract with Capitol Records but yielded her no chart success.

While searching for another label and writing songs for Ronnie Milsap’s publishing company, White sang backup for Rodney Crowell. After she signed with RCA in 1992, White used Crowell as one of her co-producers on her first album, Lead Me Not. “What A Woman Wants,” the lead single from that album climbed only to No. 44 on the charts, and the two that followed it fared even less well. However, it established White’s stature as a songwriter, with seven of the 10 cuts written or co-written by her.

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