Donny Hathaway was born in Chicago on Jan. 10, 1945, and grew up in St Louis, getting his musical grounding in the gospel field — his grandmother was a noted performer of sacred music. He gained a scholarship to Howard Univer-sity, Washington, where he studied piano and music teaching before majoring in musical theory. While in Washington he played and sang in church before joining a 'cocktail' jazz trio, then met Curtis Mayfield who invited him to Chicago as a producer for his Curtom label for which he also recorded with June Conquest as June and Donnie. Pressure of work forced him to quit Curtom, and Donny signed with Chess as staff musician /producer, though also dabbling freelance with Uni, Kapp and Stax before establishing his own independent production company.
He met up with King Curtis, who introduced him to Atlantic Records, where he signed as per-former, writer and producer, and has enjoyed chart success both on his own — e.g. 'The Ghetto' (1970) and 'I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know' (1972) — and with Roberta Flack — most successfully with 'Where Is The Love', a Top Five record in America in 1972.