Bobby Kimball is a singer whose career has been highlighted by million-selling and Grammy-winning triumphs, and tragic personal missteps followed by redemption. He was born in 1947 and grew up in Vinton, Louisiana. As early as age five he manifested an interest in music, and started singing. He later learned the piano and he listened to a lot of Dixieland jazz, which was undergoing a revival in the early and mid-'50s. His later influences were mostly from the world of R&B, especially Ray Charles and, later still, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding. The British Invasion was a transforming experience for him: -- the Beatles and, even more so, the Who, showed him another approach to R&B. He wasn't quite ready to commit to a music career, however, and was a medical student during the early '70s, working in his spare time with groups such as the Levee Band in New Orleans.