("I got a part-time job singing at a club, Casino Royal, and I liked it.

It was a lot of fun.") During those years Williams also worked in a telephone company and as a ward clerk at the Chicago Mercy Hospital.

As Deniece Chandler, she recorded for The Toddlin' Town group of labels and one of those early records, "I'm Walking Away", released on Toddlin' Town's Lock Records subsidiary in the late 1960s, is a favorite on England's Northern Soul scene. The album also featured "Cause You Love Me Baby" (which charted separately on the R&B chart as the flip side of "Free") and "That's What Friends Are For".

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Deniece Williams (born June Deniece Chandler; June 3, 1951) is an American singer, songwriter and record producer who achieved success in the mid-1970s and 1980s.

Williams is known for hits such as "Free" (1976), "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late" (1978), "Silly" (1981), "It's Gonna Take a Miracle" (1982), "Let's Hear It for the Boy" (1984), and for her duets with Johnny Mathis.

Born in Gary, Indiana, Williams attended Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, in the hopes of becoming a registered nurse and an anesthetist, but dropped out after a year and a half.

("You have to be a good student to be in college, and I wasn't.") She also performed on the side during that time.

The following year, yet another famed producer, Thom Bell, helped Williams score another number-one R&B chart-topper with her remake of The Royalettes' "It's Gonna Take a Miracle", which became a Top 10 pop hit as well, reaching No. Williams released the album Let's Hear It for the Boy in 1984. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was featured on the soundtrack to Footloose.

The song would prove to be the biggest pop hit of her career - and the last.She also contributed vocals, along with Maurice White, to the song "And Then" from Weather Report's album Mr. Williams continued releasing albums during the 1980s such as Hot On The Trail (1986), Water Under The Bridge (1987), and As Good As It Gets (1988), which featured her last Top Ten hit to date, "I Can't Wait", written by Skylark.She left Wonder in 1975 and after signing to Columbia Records, she teamed up with two famed producers: Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire, and his frequent collaborator, Charles Stepney. The duet also topped the Black Singles and Adult Contemporary charts.Her 1976 debut album entitled This Is Niecy was released. Williams also topped the dance charts with her disco single "I've Got the Next Dance".Mathis and Williams also recorded the popular theme to the 1980s sitcom Family Ties, "Without Us".Williams moved on to the American Recording Company (ARC) in the early 1980s where she scored the top ten R&B smash hit "Silly" in 1981.