Louis Allen 'Lou' Rawls (December 1, 1933 January 6, 2006) was an American recording artist, voice actor, songwriter, and record producer. He was known for his smooth vocal style: Frank Sinatra once said that Rawls had 'the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game'. Rawls released more than 60 albums, sold more than 40 million records, appeared as an actor in motion pictures and on television, and voiced-over many cartoons. He was also known for his frequently used expression, 'Yeah, buddy!' Rawls was also a three-time Grammy-winner, all for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Rawls was born on December 1, 1933 in Chicago and raised by his grandmother in the Ida B. Wells projects on the city's South Side. He began singing in the Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church choir at the age of seven and later sang with local groups through which he met future music stars Sam Cooke, who was nearly three years older than Rawls, and Curtis Mayfield.
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