Barry Eugene White (September 12, 1944 – July 4, 2003) was an American record producer and singer-songwriter.
A five-time Grammy Award-winner known for his distinctive bass voice and romantic image, White's greatest success came in the 1970s as a solo singer and with the Love Unlimited Orchestra, crafting many enduring soul, funk, and disco songs such as his two biggest hits, "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" and "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe". Worldwide, White had many gold and platinum albums and singles, with combined sales of over 100 million, according to critics Ed Hogan and Wade Kergan.
White was born Barrence Eugene Carter in Galveston, Texas and grew up in the high-crime areas of South Central Los Angeles. White was the eldest of two brothers. His younger brother Darryl was born 13 months apart from him. As a child, White grew up listening to his mother's classical music collection. White first took to the piano emulating what he heard on the records. White's introduction to music later led to him playing piano on Jesse Belvin's hit single, "Goodnight My Love". During his teenage years, Barry and his brother got involved with crime and gang activity. At age 17, he was jailed for four months for stealing $30,000 worth of Cadillac tires.
While in jail, White listened to Elvis Presley singing "It's Now or Never" on the radio, an experience he later credited with changing the course of his life. After his release, he left gang life and began a musical career at the dawn of the 1960s in singing groups before going out on his own in the middle of the decade.
The marginal success he had to that point was as a songwriter. His songs were recorded by rock singer Bobby Fuller and TV bubblegum act The Banana Splits. He was also responsible in 1963 for arranging "Harlem Shuffle" for Bob & Earl, which became a hit in the UK in 1969. He discovered disco artists, Viola Wills and Felice Taylor in 1965 and signed them to Mustang/Bronco Records, for which he was working as A&R manager.