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Dionne Warwick was misrepresented as a white woman on French copies of her album

Written by on February 6, 2022

Music legend Dionne Warwick appeared Thursday on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. While she was there to promote her new single, “Power in the Name,” she shared a shocking story about her first music tour through Europe in 1964.

Prior to her tour, a French music label released Warwick’s This Empty Place record featuring a white woman on the cover. So when she first appeared in concert at the Paris Olympia Hall, many concertgoers were shocked to learn she is Black.

“What was the reaction when you showed up?” Colbert asked.

“Quite amazing.” Warwick said. “They were accustomed to seeing this. And there was a collective gasp. I said, ‘Yeah, I ain’t no white woman, I’m Black.’”

Even though the cover art confused the audience, the beloved singer was able to smooth everything over with her majestic voice.

“Until they opened my mouth, they didn’t believe that I was who I am,” Warwick recalled. “Actually, until I started singing, then all of a sudden, everybody kind of relaxed and sat back and enjoyed.”

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on CBS.

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