Dionne Warwick is a force and has been for some time now. From the height of her career in the sixties, to becoming the first African American woman to win a Grammy in the pop arena, to her Las Vegas residency today, Warwick has been putting in the work.
Her ambitions served her well in public life. But behind the scenes, being the breadwinner in her marriage but a strain on the relationship with her husband William David Elliot, an actor and drummer.
In an interview with The Guardian, Warwick said, “ I was the major earning power in the family and that is very difficult for the male ego,” she says. “It just got too much to bear for my husband, and we decided that it would be best for us to part ways.”
During this same interview, Warwick spoke about how the goal of providing for her family caused her to make some questionable decisions, like sponsoring infomercials for the Psychic Friends Network.
The interviewer from The Guardian seems to believe that Warwick is exasperated by questions about that time in her life. And when asked if her partnership with the network was a passion or just a job, Warwick quickly said, it was just a job.
“That’s exactly what it was. It was during a period of time when I was not recording. You know, it kept the lights on in my house and food on my table. It was an earning power. I earned money that I normally would have earned if I was on the road. It’s very simple.”
When asked if she was a believer, Warwick said, “No more than anybody else is. You ask anybody in the world: ‘What’s your sign?’ and they’ll say it”
Remarking on the show’s success, Warwick said, “It sure was. Then everybody put a boo-boo on that. They said: ‘What are you doing, ratting on about that?’ But now that’s all you see on TV or hear people talk about. I’m known to be the first to do things.”