Over a four-decade career, Barry White sold more than 100 million records, charted dozens of gold and platinum albums and earned two Grammy Awards. His silky baritone was musical Viagra and solidified his role as the Godfather of Love.
Little did his legions of fans know that he was quietly suffering from kidney disease, a condition that eventually cut his life short at 58 in 2003. He passed while waiting for a kidney transplant. So, what caused the issue?
According to the crooner’s family, he battled chronic high-blood pressure, which led to kidney failure. While recording an album in 2002, White announced that he was on dialysis and searching for a kidney donor.
A stroke affected his speech and the right side of his body, but his family said he was expected to recover.
Tragically, the damage had already been done.
How can high blood pressure lead to kidney failure?
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), over time, high blood pressure harms renal blood vessels.
The nephrons in the kidneys are supplied with a dense network of blood vessels, and high volumes of blood flow through them.
Over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause arteries around the kidneys to narrow, weaken or harden. These damaged arteries are not able to deliver enough blood to the kidney tissue.