Al Green

 (b. 1946) – In the early 70s, 200 women sent soul sensation Al Green a signed petition begging him never to get married. That, in the proverbial nutshell, captures the amazing popularity of this sweet crooner from Forrest City – especially among women. “The phenomenon of women is love,” Green once said, trying to explain his female fans’ attraction to him. “Men are more into their careers, making money and achieving goals in their lives, but a woman will turn down a career to say, I love you, and really mean it.” Al Green’s secret weapon, then, was that he understood love. That and a lot of talent plus some lucky breaks led him from a sharecropper’s shack in the Delta to the top of the soul charts. Soon Green had audiences swooning with his own hits such as “Tired of Being Alone” and “Let’s Stay Together,” followed by “Call Me,” “I’m Still in Love With You,” and “You Ought to Be With Me.” In 1972, Green was named rock “n” roll star of the year by Rolling Stone. But even as he was seducing millions with his songs about secular love, Al Green was feeling a pull toward something else. “I ran from it,” he told Rolling Stone. Green eventually became an ordained minister and bought the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church in Memphis, assuming full-time duties as its pastor. Over time, he gave new meaning to the term “soul” music, blending his sweet R & B style with gospel. In the early 1980s, his “The Lord Will Make a Way” won his first Grammy but not his last. He still preaches every single Sunday. Today, Al Green understands a deeper kind of love.