Zainon Salleh Riperton-Rudolph (November 8, 1947 – July 12, 1979), known professionally as Minnie Riperton, was an American singer-songwriter best known for her 1975 single "Lovin' You" and her five-octave coloratura soprano. She is also widely known for her use of the whistle register and has been referred to by the media as the "Queen of the whistle register". Born in 1947, Riperton grew up in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side. As a child, she studied music, drama and dance at Chicago's Lincoln Center. In her teen years, she sang lead vocals for the Chicago-based girl group The Gems. Her early affiliation with the legendary Chicago-based Chess Records afforded her the opportunity to sing backup for various established artists such as Etta James, Fontella Bass, Ramsey Lewis, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. While at Chess, Riperton also sang lead for the experimental rock/soul group Rotary Connection, from 1967 to 1971.