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‘I Ain’t No White Woman’: Dionne Warwick Recalls What Happened When She Toured France for the First Time

Legendary singer Dionne Warwick is currently celebrating the release of her latest single, “Power In The Name.” While out promoting the new track, which features rappers Krayzie Bone and Nomad, the 81-year-old Grammy Award winner opened up about her first time touring through Europe and the huge mistake that neither she nor fans saw coming. 

The “Walk on By” songstress stopped by “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on Thursday, Jan. 20, where she revealed that before her tour, an unnamed French music label released a copy of her 1963 record “This Empty Place,” and replaced the Black star with a white woman on the cover. As many could imagine, when Warwick appeared on stage at the Paris Olympia Hall, concertgoers were shocked to learn that the soul singer was a Black woman. 

Dionne Warwick (L) recalls being misrepresented on her record cover during an appearance on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” Photo: screenshot/Youtube  

When asked by Colbert, “what was the reaction when you showed up?” The New Jersey native said it was “Oh, quite amazing.” She noted that audience members seemed “accustomed to seeing this.” She added, “And there was a collective gasp. I said, ‘Yeah, I ain’t no white woman; I’m black.’ ”

Warwick said she quickly won the crowd over despite this mishap as soon as her vocals hit the mic. “Until I opened my mouth, they didn’t believe that I was who I am,” the songwriter recalled. “Actually, until I started singing; then all of a sudden, everybody kind of relaxed and sat back and enjoyed.”

Fans of the show were left just as confused by the record label’s decision to erase Warwick’s image from her work. “I’m sorry that album cover was done _to_ her,” wrote one Twitter user. “I cringed,” that person added. “Right? My mouth dropped open!!” inserted another. 

Elsewhere, Warwick admitted stalking the late Sidney Poitier the time first she met the pioneering actor. The singer said she was leaving a recording studio on 54th Street in 1964 or 1965 when she spotted the Oscar-winning actor.

“In front of me was walking this regal, gorgeous man,” she said. “And I broke rank and left my girls, and I started following him.”

“You sprinted after Sidney Poitier,” Colbert asked. “I did; I actually stalked him,” replied Warwick.

She eventually caught up with the star, who passed away earlier this month. However, when the opportunity struck for her to speak, Warwick said she froze. “My mouth didn’t work. It just didn’t,” she admitted. “Finally, I said, ‘Can I have your autograph?’ And from that day till the last time I saw him, which was a year or so ago, he did not greet me as, ‘Hi, Dionne.’ It was, ‘Hello, little girl; you want my autograph?’ ”


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