Aaron Joseph Neville (born January 24, 1941) is a retired American R&B and soul singer. He has had four platinum albums and four Top 10 hits in the United States, including three that reached number one on Billboard‘s Adult Contemporary chart. “Tell It Like It Is”, from 1966, also reached the top position on the Soul chart for five weeks.
He has also recorded with his brothers Art, Charles and Cyril as the Neville Brothers and is the father of singer/keyboards player Ivan Neville. Neville is of mixed African-American, Caucasian, and North American Indigenous (Choctaw) heritage.
The first of his singles that was given airplay outside of New Orleans was “Over You” (Minit, 1960). Neville’s first major hit single was “Tell It Like It Is“, released on a small New Orleans label, Par-Lo, co-owned by local musician/arranger George Davis, a friend from school, and band-leader Lee Diamond. The song topped Billboard‘s R&B chart for five weeks in 1967 and also reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 (behind “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees). It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. It was not the label’s only release, as some sources claim. At least five other Par-Lo singles, three of them by Neville himself, are known to exist.
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