His first album, Garden of Love Light, was released in 1976 and included the track "Delightful", song from Tommy Bolin Band setlist. The lone single released from the album, it charted at #81 on the R&B charts in the spring of 1977.
1976 also saw him feature prominently on the album Vimana by Italian Progressive rock band Nova, on which he is both the main drummer to the band, and composed one of the tracks.
His 1979 album Awakening peaked at #15 on the R&B charts, spawning a Top 10 hit with "I Don't Want Nobody Else (To Dance with You)". Later that year, his album The Dance of Life yielded the Top 5 single "I Shoulda Loved Ya", which also made the UK Top 10 in 1980. "Gimme Gimme Gimme", his 1985 duet with Patti Austin, reached #1 in Sweden. In 1988, he scored another UK top 10 hit and a #1 US Dance hit, with "Divine Emotions" under the name Narada.
He was awarded Grammys for Producer of the Year in 1988, Album of the Year for the movie soundtrack The Bodyguard in 1993 and the R&B Song of the Year in 1985 for Aretha Franklin's "Freeway of Love." He was also named as one of the "Top Ten Producers With the Most Number One Hits" by Billboard magazine.