DIONNE WARWICK: DON’T MAKE ME OVER is an intimate look at the iconic, legendary singer. It shares a behind-the-scenes peek at the woman who broke separating walls and worked for humanitarian causes. 

Dionne was a New Jersey girl who started as a gospel singer. Her goal was to be a pop/ rhythm and blues singer and have her picture displayed at the Apollo Theatre. She indeed achieved her goal. Her story was told with Dionne narrating a good portion. Viewers were also treated to comments, interviews, photos, and clips from Burt Bacharach, Clive Davis, Stevie Wonder, Sir Elton John, Alecia Keyes, Gladys Knight, and Snoop Dogg. We listened to her velvety tones as she sang many of her hits, including PROMISES, HEARTBREAKER, I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN, and DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO SAN JOSE. 

Dionne earned a Master’s Degree in music. She knew her craft well. She could pick up a sheet of music and sightread, interpret the notes, and record them all on the same day. She hated the song, WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT ALFIE, but was convinced to record it. She did it in one take, which then became a worldwide hit. Dionne broke down the barriers of gender and racism. Some said she was “too white,” and others complained she was “too black.” Dionne was just herself, “a woman that projected grace, class, and elegance.” She was born to sing. 

Many artists stand on Dionne’s shoulders. She is considered “one of the greats of all time” and the one “who bridged the gap.” She helped create the National Aids Research Foundation. Dionne donated all the royalty proceeds from her hit THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR. Over the years, millions of dollars have gone directly to the Foundation. She was appointed an Ambassador of Health by every President since Reagan and has traveled the globe. 

This documentary, DIONNE WARWICK: DON’T MAKE ME OVER was well produced and scripted. It was entertaining, informative, and lovingly created. I thoroughly enjoyed listening and remembering. Dionne is not hesitant about letting the world know who she was and is. This has always been her strength and gift. Just don’t try to “make her over.”  

It is available to stream on CNN. 

Esta Rosevear

Esta Rosevear has been a Theatre Arts teacher and director for 35+ years, published Children’s author of the Rebecca series, and is passionate about playing her violin, walking, gardening, and reading murder mysteries.

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