She said she wasn’t your “Superwoman” but then promised a non-stop “Secret Rendezvous”, so where did you go Karyn White?
At the end of the 1980’s-beginning of the 90’s, LA born singer Karyn White achieved four US top ten hits including a number one, a Platinum certified and a Gold certified album as well as achieving four chart toppers on the US R&B chart. But after three studio albums, by the mid-90’s Karyn had fallen by the wayside. Or had she…
Karyn began her career as a vocalist aged 20 for American composer Jeff Lorber on his 1986 album “Private Passion”. Three singles were released which included “Facts Of Love” that reached No.27 on the singles chart and No.9 on the dance chart. Warner Bros. were so impressed with Karyn they offered her a contract and work began on her own debut album. Her debut single “The Way You Love Me” was released in August 1988 and made it to No.7 on the singles chart, No.5 on the dance chart and No.1 on the R&B chart. It became a minor hit elsewhere reaching No.22 in The Netherlands and No.42 in the UK.
Her self-titled debut album came the following month and would peak at No.19 and No.1 on the R&B album chart, eventually selling over a million copies Stateside. Her second single, released just before Christmas, “Superwoman”, would reach No.8 as well as topping the R&B chart. A third single “Love Saw It”, a duet with producer Babyface, gave her a third R&B chart topper in early 1989. Until now her success had been confined to her home country, but in the Summer of 1989 Karyn and Warner’s sought to promote her name internationally and in June Karyn appeared on the UK singles chart with “Superwoman”, which took a long, slow climb up to No.11, spending a total of ten weeks on the singles chart there.
The funky “Secret Rendezvous” gave Karyn her biggest hit yet when it reached No.6 on the US singles chart and topped the dance chart, eventually reaching No.22 in the UK and No.14 in Canada. She achieved a fifth R&B chart entry with “Slow Down” later in 1989 at the same time “The Way You Love Me” was re-released in the UK, this time only managing No.82. “Karyn White” would peak at No.20 in the UK and be certified Gold for sales of over 100,000 copies there.
After a break, Karyn returned in 1991 with her second album “Ritual Of Love” which was lead by the single “Romantic” and gave Karyn a US chart topper as well as her fourth R&B chart No.1. The song performed less well elsewhere with a top twenty placing in Canada and a high of No.23 in the UK. “Ritual Of Love” would receive a Gold certification in America for sales of 500,000 copies and peak at No.31 in the UK. The album was, however, more successful in Japan. Three further singles were released including “The Way I Feel About You” (US No.12, UK No.65), “Walking The Dog” and “Do Unto Me”, both of which failed to chart.
Karyn released her third album “Make Him Do Right” in 1994 which included the singles “Hungah” (US No.78, UK No.69), “Can I Stay With You?” and “I’d Rather Be Alone”. After a greatest hits “Sweet And Sensual” in 1995, Karyn semi retired to focus on her family. She returned in 2006 with the prospect of a new album “Sista Sista” but this was aborted half way through. Two tracks did, however, appear on a second greatest hits album in 2007. Finally, after a number of false starts, Karyn released “Carpe Diem” in 2012, eighteen years after “Make Him Do Right”. The album included leftover tracks from the 2006 album including the title track which was released as a single along with “Unbreakable”.
After another break, this time to appear in the US TV series Beauty And The Baller, Karyn recorded the track “Blind Man Walking” for the 2017 film ‘Gale And The Storm’ and in 2018 released a brand new single “Lame Excuses”. Let’s hope more new songs and an album will follow very soon…!