C*LTURE: Esther Phillips



Esther Phillips was an R&B singer and multi-instrumentalist, her gritty and distinctive voice delighted audiences and she was a prolific R&B vocalist of the 1950s through to the 1980s.


After singing in a local church contest, Esther and her sister was sign by bluesman Johnny Otis. Esther went on to record on Otis's record label, and perform in his revue. Otis gave her the moniker 'Little Esther' that would follow her throughout her career.

From a young age she become dependant on heroin and years of addiction had taken a huge toll and later led to her death in 1984.


Home Is Where the Hatred Is - written by Gil Scott-Heron become a huge hit for Esther and the song was nominated for a Grammy Award. Aretha Franklin won the Grammy but presented it to Esther Phillips because she felt she deserved it.

Esther Phillips leaves us an impressive body of memorable music!