Darlene Love (Darlene Wright; born July 26, 1941) is an American popular music singer and actress. She gained prominence in the 1960s for the song “He’s a Rebel,” a No. 1 American single in 1962, and was one of the artists who performed on the celebrated Christmas album A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, produced by Phil Spector in 1963. She is ranked number 84 among Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers.
As a minister’s daughter, she grew up listening to gospel music and was a dedicated member of her church in San Antonio, Texas. She began singing in her church choir at age ten. During choir practice she caught the attention of choir director Cora Martin. After singing for Martin she was asked to go to the Music Mart where she sang and did some broadcasts; Love’s career began there. As it was her first musical experience, it was also the main influence for her to pursue a music career.
Those who knew her described her vocals as “a voice of a nightingale.” She claimed, “(singing in) the choir was a big influence on my life. I call it my learning ground. Singing in the choir, I learned harmony.”