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Ann Peebles

Ann Peebles, who after Al Green was the biggest star in the Hi Records firmament, had a voice with a bite. Yet this awesome soulstress never forgot to couple that bite with sultry sophistication, always riding lean Memphis charts with class and never overpowering her backings. Sure Peebles sounded sexy, but her '70s recordings brought deep emotions to the surface for listeners to share. Peebles deserved bigger sales than she achieved, but she had many minor R&B hits during the Pet Rock and Ungame decade, the best of which may well be "I Can't Stand the Rain." Much of her best work is blessedly available in this digital age, and her recent recordings are well worth hearing.