Barry White (1944-2003) – Producer, Composer & Singer
Barry Eugene Carter, known as Barry White, was born in Galveston, Texas, and raised in the high crime areas of South Central Los Angeles. White’s musical influence came from listening to his mother’s classical music collection which he would then emulate it on the piano. His musical career began when he was in his late teens in the early 1960s, as part of different singing groups as well as having singles of his own. In the mid-1960s, he was hired as an arts and repertoire (A&R) man for Del-Fi Records to help scout new musicians, but he was also a songwriter, session musician, and arranger for the record company as well. White’s greatest success came when he decided to fully embrace his career as a solo male artist, creating his stage name Barry White, and writing and singing hit singles like “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby,” “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up,” and “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything.” White also created the Love Unlimited Orchestra and is considered a pioneer of disco music in the 1970s.
When Barry White died on July 4TH at the age of 58, leaving behind two ex-wives, a long term lover, and nine children. Unfortunately for Barry’s lover, Katherine Denton, Barry had failed to update his Will. Even though White had separated from his second wife, Glodean James, they had never filed for divorce, so his multi-million dollar estate went directly to her, leaving Denton and her child nothing. Supposedly, White had led Denton to believe that she would be financially supported after his death. This resorted in a lengthy court case as Denton sued James for a share of the estate. During the case, Denton’s credibility was damaged by DNA testing, proving that her one year-old daughter, that she thought was White’s child, was not. Denton had to settle for the couple’s $2 million home, considerably less than White’s estimated $20 million estate. And now another problem as arose, and the dispute is between White’s first wife and second wife over who was due the largest share of his estate.
Barry White was a Grammy Award-winning singer, but even successful singers can fail to properly plan. If you want to minimize your estate planning taxes and/or avoid the probate process, then contact The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. for a free initial consultation on estate planning, trust planning, and/or probate issues.
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