Whether Marlee Matlin knows it or not, Dionne Warwick is a music legend. She has charted more singles than any other female vocalist next to Aretha Franklin with a record number of 56 between 1962 through 1998.
Warwick raised over three million dollars for AIDS research with a benefit single “That’s What Friends Are For.” She continues to give to charity today even putting herself on the chopping block for reality television. She talked Nunn on One the day after she basically fired herself on Celebrity Apprentice. I’ll Never Love This Way Again
Jerry Nunn: Hello, Miss Warwick. You have had such a long lasting career and just celebrated 50 years in the business.
Dionne Warwick: It sure has been amazing.
JN: You were able to look back on your career in a memoir recently.
DW: Yes, My Life as I See It.
JN: Have you been doing book signings?
DW: Yes, we did some when the book dropped in November. I have done about ten since then. It has been absolutely wonderful the way people have been responding to it the way that I want them to. It is an inspirational memoir about people I have met, the places that I have gone and the things that I have done, also the ups and downs of my career, too. All of it is there.
JN: If the book were to be made into a movie, who would you want to play you?
DW: Oh my! I think Taraji Henson. She is an exceptional actress and she can sing well. Actually she favors me so it is not too much of a stretch.
JN: I really like your new jazz album Only Trust Your Heart.
DW: Oh, good. I am so glad you like it.
JN: How do you take care of your voice?
DW: The only way someone can take of their voice is rest, which I don’t get that much of. It is a muscle and as long as you exercise it, which I do a lot with traveling and all that there is with touring. That is the only thing you can do.
JN: Speaking of touring, you are heading to Illinois. Will the set be old as well as new?
JN: Is there a classic you particularly like to perform?
DW: The honest answer is all of them based on the fact that I treat my music like my babies. You can’t have a favorite out of all of them. Of course I will be doing what people expect me to and throwing in a couple of surprises, too.
JN: Did you see the musical Promises, Promises with all of the Burt Bucharach music in the production?
DW: No, I didn’t.
JN: Would you ever write a musical?
DW: If I did it would be my life story.
JN: That would be perfect!
DW: I agree with you. Now I need to get someone else to feel that way (laughs).
JN: I have been watching Celebrity Apprentice of course.
DW: Of course.
JN: How do you feel about the experience?
DW: It was an interesting show, very very interesting. The fact that Donald Trump has thought enough of charities to create a show based on that is I think a brilliant idea. He’s a brilliant man, what can I tell you? He is the ultimate business man. I had an interesting time. I got to know things about some people and when they would ask my opinion I would give that to them personally. It gave people an opportunity to show what they are capable of doing.
JN: The women’s team was particularly fun to watch.
DW: Oh, it was!
JN: I can’t get enough of NeNe Leakes’ crazy.
JN: Do you currently live in Brazil?
DW: I currently live in New Jersey and Brazil.
JN: So you go back and forth?
JN: Do you speak Portuguese?
DW: Oh, um pouco (a little). Enough to get by…
JN: Gladys Knight is coming to town also and Elton John is here pretty often as well. Do you still keep in touch with any of your friends from the group on “That’s What Friends Are For?”
DW: Absolutely. They have been friends for many, many years. Friends stay in touch with each other.
JN: Have you talked to cousin Whitney Houston?
DW: Oh, yeah I was just with her last month.
JN: Well, it has been fun talking to a legend and I look forward to seeing you at the show.
DW: Thank you very much.