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Barry White’s Wife: Exploring The Love Life and Legacy of The Music Legend

From a high-school romance to the challenges of stardom, take a deep dive into Barry White's wives. Learn about their loving family life, the dispute over Barry's estate, and what their children are doing now.
by Rob Gillham | Jan 4 2024
Barry White’s Wife: Exploring The Love Life and Legacy of The Music Legend
Credits: Pinterest

Most known for his soulful voice and timeless hits, Barry White was an R&B legend who lived a fulfilling life on and off the stage. Apart from his love for music, Barry also had some romantic affairs, eventually marrying twice.

Read on to learn more about the story behind the woman who became Barry White’s wife.

Mary White and Glodean James: The Two Wives Of Soul Legend Barry White

The first woman Barry White married has been referred to as Mary in his autobiography. They were reportedly childhood sweethearts; by age 16, he had already fathered two children with Mary.

They got married at 19 and later had two more children together. However, the couple grew apart by 1969, eventually divorcing.

In 1974, a new love chapter began when Barry tied the knot with Glodean James (now 77), a singer herself, and they had four children. Their passion for music led to a duet on the 1981 album ‘Barry & Glodean.’

Despite rumors of separation in 1988, they remained legally married until Barry’s untimely demise in 2003. At the time of his death, White was reportedly seeing Katherine Denton.

The End Of A Music Legend: Barry White’s Death

Barry White struggled with weight issues throughout his adult life, leading to a number of health problems. Also, he was a heavy smoker, reportedly smoking around 150 cigarettes daily, equivalent to 7 to 8 packs.

While touring with Earth, Wind & Fire in August 1999, White had to cancel their tour dates due to exhaustion, high blood pressure, and a demanding schedule. 

During the year 2000, White’s health really deteriorated, making it challenging for him to even stand. In September 2002, he was hospitalized for kidney failure, which was attributed to chronic high blood pressure and possible diabetes.

While undergoing dialysis and awaiting a kidney transplant in May 2003, White suffered a severe stroke, compelling him to retire from public life. Multiple seizures plagued his last weeks.

Unfortunately, White’s fragile health prevented him from receiving a new kidney, leading to his death on July 4, 2003, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, following cardiac arrest at the age of 58. 

Barry White’s Extensive Family 

Allegedly, Barry White had nine children. He had four kids with his first wife, Mary, and four more with Glodean. 

Later, he acknowledged Denise Donnell as his daughter, ​​born in 1962 to Gurtha Allen. Denise did not discover who her biological father was until 1988, and Barry supported her in changing her name to Denise White.

Inheritance of Barry White’s Estate: The Legal Battle

Since Barry White was technically married to Glodean at his passing, she was the rightful heir to his $20 million estate. Despite Katherine being Barry’s partner at the moment, she was left without any share of the inheritance. 

Moreover, the fact that White was the father of nine children complicated the situation even more.

In 2017, Darryl White, son of Barry and Mary, sued Glodean and accused her of denying him rights to the trust and leaving him close to homelessness. 

But Darryl is not the only one to sue Glodean. His half-sister Denise cited similar accusations in a 2016 lawsuit, asserting that Glodean had discouraged her from claiming her inheritance rights.

The charge filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court states that Glodean had assured their share of Barry’s estate, but payments became sporadic before ceasing around 2015. 

Meanwhile, Denise’s payments stopped in 2013, diminishing her presence at family gatherings. 

Barry White remains an icon in the music world, yet his private life narrative is equally fascinating. And speaking of intriguing tales, lovers of celebrity stories can delve into the captivating world of famous personalities in the book collection Celebrity Stories on Blinkist. 

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