Legendary Austin R&B musician Lavelle White turns 95

A legendary Austin R&B musician is celebrating her milestone 95th birthday.

Lavelle White is known for her rhythm-and-blues singles, with her career dating back to the 1960s.

Mic in hand with a live band in front of an audience while singing one of her favorite songs is how White celebrated her birthday at West Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Sunday.

"It makes me feel great," said White.

"She can still sing, she was belting them out," said Nancy Coplin, vice president of Housing Opportunities for Musicians and Entertainers (HOME).

White was a musician in her younger years with an extensive music catalog. She traveled and performed across the U.S. from the 60s through the 90s, and even at one point, toured Europe.


"She still has it at 95 years old, it really is, and she is still beautiful," said White's niece Faye Martin.

White's debut album "Miss Lavelle" was released in 1994, followed by "It Haven't Been Easy" in 1997 and "Into the Mystic" in 2003. She's also shared the stage with other well-known artists, including James Brown, Sam Cooke, Smokey Robinson, and Aretha Franklin.

"I think her career keeps her going, her memories, and the gifts and talents that she has within her," said Martin.

During her birthday celebration, she was able to enjoy music, cake, and receive many gifts from those that were in attendance.

"She was very happy, we had some of her family members fly in for this from Louisiana and people from all over the city, plus the residents that live with her all got to enjoy the show," said Coplin.

"I haven't seen her in over 20-something years really but we kind of kept in contact with her but really seeing her, I haven't seen her in a while," said Martin.


There was a line to take pictures with White and a few well-known artists stopped by to wish her a happy birthday. 

"They love her cause she has that personality to really draw people into her," said Martin.

"She is an icon of not only Austin music but music worldwide," said Coplin.

The celebration was put together by HOME, a nonprofit that provides assistance to aging musicians.

"We have taken care of her rent and utilities for over ten years. She is very special to me. I have known her for a long, long time and I wanted to help her celebrate her birthday," said Coplin.

White had this to say to all that celebrated her 95th birthday: "I really appreciate it, thank you."