Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 15 July '44, Thompson GA) Soul singer, one of the best of her era; records and stage act marked by four-letter words and an ultra-raunchy image. Lived with preacher grandfather, attended church six times a week, ran away to NYC age 14. Worked as model in Brooklyn '61, mainly in confession mags; on a bet jumped onstage at Harlem's Palm Cafe '64 to sing. Then worked as singer, made single '69 for MGM, signed with Spring Records '71, had first hit in soul chart 'A Child Of God', LPs Millie Jackson, It Hurts So Good (title track no. 3 on soul chart); top 30 pop hit 'Ask Me What You Want', all '72; named most promising female vocalist by NATRA. 'It Hurts So Good' was featured in movie Cleopatra Jones and went pop top 30 '73. LP Millie '73 followed by breakthrough Caught Up '74: concept had Jackson portraying betrayed wife on one side, the other woman on reverse; incl. hit single 'If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don't Want To Be Right)', earning gold disc and Grammy nomination. After that most albums charted. They incl. Still Caught Up '75, Free And In Love '76 (completing a trilogy prod. by Brad Shapiro); Lovingly Yours '76, Feelin' Bitchy '77, Get It Out'cha System '78, Royal Rappin's '79 (duet LP with Isaac Hayes), A Moment's Pleasure '79, Live And Uncensored '79, For Men Only '80, I Had To Say It '80, Just A Lil Bit Country '81, Live And Outrageous (Rated XXX) '82 (incl. notorious 'Fuck U Symphony'); ESP (Extra Sexual Persuasion) '84, incl. such tracks as 'Slow Tongue (Working Your Way Down)', 'Sexercise'. No major pop singles '73--85 partly due to radio ban on her work, but 'Act Of War' was top 40 UK '85 (duet with Elton John on his Rocket label). Picketed by anti-apartheid groups after appearing in South Africa; announced '85 that she had visited United Nations as guest of Organization for African Unity, would not return to SA and supported benefit concerts for SA blacks. An Imitation Of Love '86 appeared on Jive/RCA, followed by The Tide Is Turning '88, Back To The Shit '89 and Young Man, Older Woman '91; Rock'n'Soul '94 and It's Over? '95 were on Ichiban. Live And Uncensored on CD incl. Live And Outrageous as a bonus.