Blessed with a voice that's smooth as silk, and strong despite his emphasis on his higher register, Aaron Neville was one of the most distinctive R&B artists of his generation, a legend of New Orleans music who went on to become a star in pop, country, and adult contemporary circles thanks to his collaborations with the likes of Linda Ronstadt and Trisha Yearwood. Neville began performing with his siblings in the mid-'50s and their group, the Hawkettes, scored a regional hit with their song "Mardi Gras Mambo" in 1954. Legal problems sidelined Neville for much of the rest of the decade, but his 1966 single, "Tell It Like It Is," became a smash that spread his name outside Louisiana. Bad business deals and personal problems prevented Neville from enjoying a follow-up, but in 1975 he reunited with his siblings to form the Neville Brothers. After years as cult favorites, their mix of New Orleans grooves, R&B power, and jazzy expression finally broke through to mainstream recognition with the 1989 album Yellow Moon, while that same year, a duet Aaron recorded with Linda Ronstadt, "Don't Know Much," became a major chart hit and established him as a solo star. Neville successfully embraced a pop-friendly adult contemporary sound on albums like 1991's Warm Your Heart and 1993's The Grand Tour, but he also explored spirituals on 2000's Devotion, vocal jazz classics on 2003's Nature Boy: The Standards Album, vintage R&B on 2006's Bring It on Home…The Soul Classics, and doo wop on 2013's My True Story. The smooth, graceful phrasing Neville essayed with his clear high-tenor instrument brought a deeply personal sound to his work regardless of the genre.