Dionne Warwick didn’t set out to become an internet star. But that same combination of grace, warmth and wit that made her a recording legend also helped her conquer Twitter, where she has earned more than 500,000 followers by weighing in on hot topics like Taylor Swift’s scarf and Chance the Rapper’s name.
“I thought maybe a grown-up’s presence was needed on Twitter,” the six-time Grammy winner exclusively tells Closer Weekly, on newsstands now. “It has become a wonderful relationship with the youngsters.”
The singer, who scored her first Grammy with 1968’s “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” is also still doing what she loves: performing live, spending time with her family and giving back. Just days before her December 12 birthday, Dionne performed at Oscar’s Palm Springs. The event, produced by owner Dan Gore, was a fundraiser for Caterina’s Club, a Southern California nonprofit that feeds 5,000 children each night and aids families in need. “I am a people person,” Dionne says. “You wake up every day, grateful to be here.”
In addition to music, the greatest loves of Dionne’s life are her two sons, David and Damon Elliott, whose father is ex-husband, actor William Elliott. It’s little surprise that both of Dionne’s sons have followed her into the music business. David is a songwriter, and Damon is a producer. “I have always encouraged and supported them with anything they wanted to do,” says Dionne, who calls “being a mother” her proudest accomplishment.
Dionne plans to spend the next year “performing, recording and just being.” She admits she feels blessed to have turned 81 and doesn’t worry about getting older. “I tell people who want to get face-lifts and tucks — how can you improve upon perfection?” Dionne says. “This is what God gave you. Try to improve upon it? It’s impossible.”
—Reporting by Lindsay Hoffman
For more on this story, pick up the latest issue of Closer magazine, on newsstands now.