Loleatta Holloway

Loleatta Holloway (Nov. 5, 1946 — March 21, 2011) was an American soul singer from Chicago who released two albums on GRC-division Aware between 1973 and 1975, followed by four albums on Salsoul-subsidiary Gold Mine Records between 1976 and 1980.

Loleatta Holloway was born on November 5, 1946, in Chicago, where she started singing with her mother in the Holloway Community Singers. Between 1967 and 1971, she sang behind gospel icon Albertina Walker in the Caravans, appearing on their 1969 release Think About It. Afterwards, she was cast in the 1971 musical review Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope. Around this time, she met producer Floyd Smith, who became her manager and husband.

Her first single, “Rainbow ’71” (b/w “For Sentimental Reasons”), was issued on Harvey, Ill., soul-press Apache. The a-side is a Curtis Mayfield composition, recorded in 1965 by Gene Chandler. Holloway renders the song in half-soliloquy with elongated vowels and caterwauled stress words over a slow, intense arrangement. Later that year, “Rainbow” was issued nationally on Galaxy as the b-side to “Bring It On Up,” a Stax-style soul-funk shouter that makes early use of a drum machine.

Her efforts led to a contract with the Atlanta-based Aware label, a division of the General Recording Corporation (GRC).


  • “Rainbow ’71” / “For Sentimental Reasons” (1971)
  • Loleatta (1973)
  • Cry to Me (1975)
  • Loleatta (1976)
  • Queen of the Night (1978)
  • Loleatta (1979)
  • Love Sensation (1980)


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