Rufus keyboardist David "Hawk" Wolinski wrote the song around a repeating synthesizer loop backed by a Linn LM-1 Drum Computer. However, drummer John J.R. Robinson played real drums for the recording session. The band did a democratic vote and they decided to include the song in their album repertoire. Once the song was recorded, Warner executives wanted to issue another song as the album's first single. Wolinski threatened to give the song to Michael Jackson and legendary producer Quincy Jones for Thriller if the song was not the lead off single. The label relented and "Ain't Nobody" was issued and hit #1 on the R&B chart for the week ending October 15, 1983.
The song was also included in the soundtrack of the movie Breakin'.
In 1995, Diana King recorded the song for her album Tougher Than Love. It was released as a single, reaching No. 95 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 4 on Billboard's Dance chart and No. 13 on the UK Singles Chart.
The most successful cover of "Ain't Nobody" was by rapper LL Cool J, who recorded an interpolation of the song for the soundtrack to the 1996 film Beavis and Butt-head Do America. Released as the soundtrack's second single, this version reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart. In the US, the song peaked at No. 46 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 4 on the Hot Rap Singles Chart and No. 27 on the BillboardHot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.