Al Green became a popular soul singer whose hits include 's "Let's Stay Together. Years later, Green found a balance between his religious calling and secular music and went on to release several new albums. He began performing at a young age, singing gospel music with his family as part of the Greene Brothers. Even after the Greene family moved to Michigan, the Greene Brothers continued touring on the gospel circuit. After being kicked out of the family home for listening to the secular music of Jackie Wilson, Green started a group called the Creations, which later became Al Greene and the Soul Mates. After the Soul Mates failed to capitalize on their one hit, the group broke up and Al Green struck out out his own. It was at this time that he decided to drop the final "e" from his last name. In , while on the road in Texas, Green opened for producer Willie Mitchell. As he started working closely with Mitchell, Green's soft phrasing and falsetto embellishments took soul in a new direction.
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There can be no question that anyone would have been shaken by the events that transpired in the Memphis, Tennessee , home of singer Al Green in the early morning hours of October 18, , when an ex-girlfriend burst in on him in the bath and poured a pot of scalding-hot grits on his back before retreating to a bedroom and shooting herself dead with Green's own gun. Not everyone, however, would have processed the meaning of the incident quite the way that Green did. Believing that he had strayed from the righteous musical and spiritual course intended for him, Al Green had become a born-again Christian one year earlier. But after the attack by Mary Woodson on this day in , he began a process that would eventually lead him to renounce pop superstardom and all that it stood for. Al Green, widely renowned as one of the greatest voices in soul-music history, was at the absolute height of his powers in He also, in the words of Davin Seay, who collaborated with Green on his autobiography, Take Me To The River , had a "basic animal appeal to women" that attracted many admirers, including Mary Woodson. Mary Woodson first made Green's acquaintance after leaving her husband and children behind in New Jersey and attending one of his concerts in upstate New York.
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By further transforming the essential relationship in soul music between the sacred and the secular , Green followed the musical and spiritual path of his greatest inspiration, Sam Cooke. In , after his family moved from Arkansas to Michigan, Green and some friends formed the Creations and toured the chitlin circuit venues that catered to African American audiences in the South before renaming themselves Al Green and the Soul Mates three years later. The watershed moment for Green came in Texas in when he met Willie Mitchell , a former bandleader who served as chief producer and vice president of Hi Records in Memphis , Tennessee. Green delivered gospel intensity, effortlessly soaring to the highest falsetto or plunging into a husky groan cloaked in hushed sensuality. In the mids Green became a minister, establishing his own church. By he had devoted himself completely to his ministry and to gospel music. Later in that decade he cautiously reemerged from his spiritual seclusion and resumed performances of his most celebrated works alongside his popular gospel recordings, several of which won Grammy Awards in the soul gospel category. Green was the recipient of numerous honours.