John Royce "Johnny" Mathis (born September 30, 1935) is an American singer of popular music. Starting his career with singles of standards, he became highly popular as an album artist, with several dozen of his albums achieving gold or platinum status, and 73 making the Billboard charts. According to Guinness Book of World Records writer and historian Paul Gambacini, Johnny Mathis has sold 350 million records worldwide.
Mathis was born in Gilmer, Texas, the fourth of seven children of Clem Mathis and his wife, Mildred Boyd, an African-American. Their family moved to San Francisco, California, settling on 32nd Ave. in the Richmond District, where he grew up. His father had worked in vaudeville, and when he saw his son's talent, he bought an old upright piano for US$25 and encouraged his efforts. Mathis began learning songs and routines from his father; his first song being "My Blue Heaven." Mathis started singing and dancing for visitors at home, and at school and church functions.
When Mathis was thirteen, Connie Cox, a voice teacher, accepted him as her student in exchange for his work around her house. He studied with Cox for six years, learning vocal scales and exercises, voice