Dionne Warwick once went ‘a little bit ballistic’ when The Beatles were refused entry to her show.
The American star is one of the best-loved singers in music history, enjoying success with hits such as Walk On By and I Say a Little Prayer. Dionne has been making music since she was a teenager and developed close bonds with a series of legendary artists. The 71-year-old became friends with The Beatles during the ’60s and has recalled losing her temper when they failed to get into an exclusive London hotel because of their clothes.
‘I told them I was working at the Savoy hotel, come on over and hang out with me. But the maître d’ would not allow them in the room. He said they were ‘not properly dressed’, she explained to British newspaper The Telegraph. ‘I went a little bit on the ballistic side. I said, ‘Well, guess what. These are my friends. If they’re not allowed in, I’m not going on.’
‘They got front-row seats. So goes to show ya. Everybody was looking at them a little peculiarly, but, hey, they were The Beatles, come on!’
Dionne began touring around the American south as a backing vocalist at the age of 16, when racial segregation was still in place. She was shocked by the experience and still believes there is some way to go in the US before there is true equality.
‘I was exposed to things I had never seen or heard before, coming from New Jersey. The world has changed, not only America,’ she added. ‘No one in our lifetime entertained the thought that there would be an African American president, and yet here he is. And it ain’t over yet. Our next hurdle will be a female president. It’s going to happen, I know it in my heart.’
During the interview Dionne was also asked about her late cousin Whitney Houston.
The singer refused to touch on Whitney’s addiction battle, insisting she wants to remember her for ‘her music’ and ‘her legacy’.