Jerry Butler (born Jerry Butler Jr., December 8, 1939, Sunflower, Mississippi) is an American soul singer, songwriter, known as "The Ice Man" because of his cool demeanour while singing often intensely emotional lyrics. He is also noted as being the original lead singer of the legendary R&B vocal group, The Impressions, as well as a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
Butler is also an American politician. He serves as a Commissioner for Cook County, Illinois, having first been elected in 1985. As a member of this 17-member county board, he chairs the Health and Hospitals Committee, and serves as Vice Chair of the Construction Committee.
Butler's younger brother, Billy Butler, also had a career in the music industry.
He co-wrote, with Otis Redding, the song "I've Been Loving You Too Long" in 1965. Butler’s solo career had a string of hits, including the Top 10 successes "He Will Break Your Heart", "Find Another Girl", "I'm A-Telling You" (all written by fellow Impression Curtis Mayfield and featuring Mayfield as harmony vocal), "Only the Strong Survive," "Moon River," "Need To Belong" (recorded with the Impressions after he went solo), "Make It Easy On Yourself," "Let It Be Me" (with Betty Everett), "Brand New Me," "Ain’t Understanding Mellow" (with Brenda Lee Eager), "Hey, Western Union Man," and "Never Gonna Give You Up." Butler released two successful albums, The Ice Man Cometh (1968) and Ice On Ice (1970). The Iceman Cometh garnered Butler three Grammy nominations. He collaborated on many of his successful recordings with the Philadelphia-based songwriting team, Gamble and Huff.
Tony Orlando and Dawn revived "He Will Break Your Heart" in 1975, with a new title, "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)," and it was even more successful than Butler's original, going to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop chart.
He currently resides in Chicago with his wife Annette. He has two sons, Randy and Tony, and a grandson.
Pruter, Robert. Chicago Soul. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1991, ISBN 978-025206259-9
R&B Soul Jam revue resurrected for Mother's Day featuring the Chi-Lites, Jerry Butler, Impressions, Emotions and Stylistics
May 11, 2006; A spectacular R&B revue featuring dynamite performers from the '60s, '70s and '80s is set for Mother's Day Eve at the Arie Crown...