Why Barry White Was Ridiculed By His Fans In His Last Days

As one of the most iconic of the deep-toned crooners, Barry White cemented his place in the music world as the soul singer with a unique, instantly recognized baritone. His voice quickly distinguished him from others, and hit songs like "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" in 1974 (per Billboard) and "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" (also from 1974) propelled him to celebrity. But he had a pretty tragic end, dying at 58 years old.

Much later into his career, a series of health problems would slowly diminish his capabilities as an entertainer. As reported by Billboard, White suffered with weight issues, high blood pressure, and kidney failure. His health would eventually affect his career in more ways than one. But unfortunately, fans of the singer were not "fans" of his medical issues, and White likely went to the grave with one of his last memories being of his fans serving him with ridicule instead of praise.

His Back Against the Fans

His slew of health issues never seemed to improve, and in fact only got worse as time went by. But White persisted and continued to perform despite his illnesses. When he was 58, White suffered a stroke that left him speech-impaired and slightly debilitated. Per a 2003 report in Rolling Stone, his daughter, Shaheara, maintained that despite the health scare he was still going to do shows.

In one of his final public appearances, White performed at a concert in Sydney, Australia in 2000. But he was unable to stand up and give his all. At that point, White was suffering from edema, which causes swelling of body tissue due to trapped excess fluid, as the Mayo Clinic describes the condition. And his guests were displeased.

The BBC reported that seating was in a horseshoe arrangement. Because of the venue's multi-sided design, in addition to White's inability to get up and move around while singing, more than half of the concert's 4,000 fans were unable to see him. Some criticized the venue's sound quality as well. White met the booing of the crowd by turning around on his seat. Nearly half of the audience walked out early, some after only 30 minutes, said the BBC: "After an hour, the promoters offered refunds to fans."