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Houston, Texas born singer Beau Williams may be one of the greatest Soul voices of the past 30 years, but he still remains relatively unknown outside of the Gospel world. Williams was performing at an early age, and his clear, booming Gospel voice began winning local talent contests for him by the time he was a teen. He began providing backup vocal work in the late 70s and nearly became the Temptations' lead singer after the departure of Louis Price in 1980.
With the help of George Benson, Williams landed a recording contract with Capitol Records in 1981. He recorded four albums for Capitol during 1982-86 which were of uneven quality but which included a number of notable ballads that showed off his strong, multi-octive Sam Cooke-like voice. "Elvina," "I Think I Know You," "The Last Time I Made Love" and the booming "Another Place and Time" earned for Williams critical acclaim and an international following but little success in the U.S. He achieved his only notoriety in America when he became the winning male singer on the TV talent show Star Search in 1983 (which was designed as an amateur show, though oddly Williams won after he had already released two albums).
In 1989 Williams went back to his roots, signing with Light Records and releasing the Gospel album Wonderful. He scored a number one Gospel hit with the title cut, a Sam Cooke remake. His follow up album, Love, also hit the top 5 and included another hit Cooke cover, "That's Heaven to Me." Williams recorded three more less popular Gospel albums, the last being 1996's They Need to Know on Insync Records, before his solo recording career faded. Williams continued to self-release music sporadically, most recently Visions, which can be found on his website.
Williams continues to perform in Gospel shows around the U.S. and operates Beau Williams Ministries.
By Chris Rizik