Willie Clayton is a singer-songwriter and producer. Like many other black singer/songwriters,
he began performing gospel music in church settings as a youngster and then moved into the secular field as a lyricist, producer, and singer. An active recording artist since the 1970s, Clayton’s career has endured almost 40 years and has spanned a repertoire in the styles of R&B, soul, and gospel. Birthed into an era of soul and R&B legends, a time when music was pure, lyrics had meaning, and artists had pronounceable names, Willie Clayton is now one of the few working artists of his contemporaries. Since the 1970’s he’s been crooning with the likes of Ron Isley, Bobby Womack, Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye, yet now he stands nearly alone, facing a new generation.
Born in the Deep South (Indianola, Mississippi) during the days of segregation, Clayton, unable to find proper management or the success he sought moved to Chicago in 1971. Like many other African American artists in the 1970’s, the young singer ended up contracted to Hi Records in Memphis, where he worked with producer Willie Mitchell and the vaunted Hi rhythm section. Hi issued a series of fine Clayton efforts on its Pawn subsidiary, including “I Must Be Losin’ You,” “It’s Time You Made Up Your Mind,” and “Baby You’re Ready,” but none of them hit. Finally, in 1984, Clayton enjoyed a taste of soul success when his “Tell Me” (produced by General Crook) and “What a Way to Put It”, scored on to the R&B charts. Let’s Get Together, Clayton’s 1993 album for Johnny Vincent’s Ace record label, was a smooth soul-blues hybrid dominated by originals but titled after Al Green’s immortal hit.
Simply back on the scene after the mainstream success of Clayton’s “Boom Boom Boom and “A Woman Knows”, which landed on Billboard album and airplay charts. Clayton is prepared to teach a new generation the right way to love. Self classified as an all-encompassing singer, he refuses to be pigeonholed in one genre of music. “There aren’t many real gritty R&B singers. Bobby Womack, Charlie Wilson and I are the last of that generation.
I keep up with the music because I keep changing with the times. Where Levert left off, I am picking it up, and like him my music is relatable across the generations.”
In 2009 Clayton made what is known as one of the all time fan favorites with the project entitled Love, Romance and Respect which featured two back to back Top 25 Urban Adult Contemporary Airplay Billboard Singles Charts with “Dance The Nite Away” and “We Both Grown” featuring Dave Hollister.Love, Romance and Respect is truly a classic R&B album the world over. Working with young musicians and producers, (none over the age
of 30) has allowed Clayton to speak the language of love to modern rhythm and blues. Grateful for the young energy, the expertise and perspective, he feels this album is full of timeless music. “It’s not a one single album, it’s grown and sexy. It’s about bringing romance, love, respect and sensuality
back in the house.”
In 2011 the multi-talented singer, songwriter, producer released two separate projects in one physical year. “That’s work”, said Clayton. The projects included The Voice which featured the hit single “Tonight” and The Tribute: One Man, One Voice, which featured the hit single “Be With Me”. Both
singles were Top 25 records on the Urban Adult Contemporary airplay chart. Clayton continues to not just release music but quality projects that satisfy his fans and keep him entertaining fans all over the world. With multiple releases throughout his career, even in 2012 Clayton is confident in his newest offering to the world, even reaching generation next, by building an Internet presence and bridging the generational gap. “Mood music has no age limits, this album reminds you how good it is to be in love, or shows you how sweet it can be!”
Considered by critics and fans alike to be one of the last great “Soul” men, Clayton continues to record and perform and has maintained a devoted following throughout the world. With his new album "UNTAMABLE" featuring "Girl I Want Your Body", Mr. Clayton has once again laid claim to that famed title. For those who have yet to partake of the Willie Clayton experience, please do so huredly, because this awesome wonder is just getting