Amii Stewart

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Amii Stewart
Amii Stewart / December 2013 / Capri Film Festival
Amii Stewart / December 2013 / Capri Film Festival
Background information
Birth nameAmy Paulette Stewart
Born (1956-01-29) January 29, 1956 (age 64)
OriginWashington, D.C., US
GenresDisco, soul, dance-pop
Occupation(s)Singer, dancer
Years active1978–present
LabelsAriola, RCA
Associated actsMike Francis

Amy Paulette "Amii" Stewart (born January 29, 1956) is an American disco and soul singer and dancer most famous for her hit disco record cover of Eddie Floyd's "Knock on Wood". Stewart is the stepsister of actress-singer Miquel Brown[1] and aunt to Brown's actress-singer daughter Sinitta.


Amy Stewart was born 9th out of 11 children.[2] Her father, Joseph Stewart II, signed her up for singing and dancing lessons in 1960, when she was four. There already was an Amy Stewart registered with Actor's Equity, so she changed the spelling of her name to Amii. She began attending Howard University in Washington but soon left to work with the D.C. Repertory Dance Company, studying ballet and modern dance.[2] Before being signed to Ariola Records, Stewart was in the touring company of the stage production Bubbling Brown Sugar in 1975, firstly in Miami, then Broadway, and eventually London's West End, where she met Barry Leng, a record producer for Hansa records.

At the end of 1977, "You Really Touched My Heart" a Leng/Simon May composition, produced by Leng, was Stewart's first recording. An album followed, which contained five Leng/May songs, one Leng/Morris song and three cover versions.

Her first single, a disco cover version of the 1966 Eddie Floyd hit "Knock on Wood" (Floyd/Cropper), reached number one in the U.S. in April 1979, and earned her a platinum record and a Grammy Award nomination. It also reached number 6 in the UK, and number 2 in Australia. In the same year, Amii Stewart followed up with another cover, this time The Doors' classic "Light My Fire", which reached #5 in the UK, although only climbed to #69 in the US. She recorded it as a medley, incorporating "137 Disco Heaven" and entitled "Light My Fire/137 Disco Heaven".

Following her success in Europe, in the mid-1980s Stewart relocated to Italy,[3] and released singles in collaboration with Italian composer/musician Mike Francis, "Friends" and "Together". "Friends" was a big hit in the UK, Italy and the Philippines.

Later career[edit]

In the 1998 movie 54, actress/singer Mary Griffin portrayed Stewart, performing the song "Knock on Wood", at the famed discothèque Studio 54. While performing, Griffin wore a similarly extravagant outfit to that which Stewart wore in the video to "Knock on Wood" in 1979. Although it was obvious that Griffin was portraying Stewart, the credits at the end of the movie have Griffin's character listed as 'Disco Star'.

In 2000, Stewart toured Italy, playing the part of Mary Magdalene, in the revival of the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. The play also starred Carl Anderson, who revived his role of "Judas Iscariot" from the 1973 movie.

In 2003, Stewart starred in the musical Lady Day, in the role of Billie Holiday; the musical was written and produced by her.

Since 2001, Stewart has been working as a goodwill ambassador for Italian Unicef and has been involved in a large number of projects such as "Uniti per i bambini, Uniti contro l'AIDS" (translated as "United for the children, united against AIDS"). In 2006, she recorded the charity single "Love Song" for UNICEF in four different languages, once again returning to work with Ennio Morricone. The following year saw her return to duet with Mike Francis on the track "Nothing Can Come Between Us". In 2006, Stewart and long-time friend and collaborator Ennio Morricone released 5 track single "Love Song", sung in English, Italian, French, Spanish as well as a multilingual version. All proceeds from the single went to Unicef's campaign "Check Out For Children".

In May 2007, Stewart again participated in the Sanremo Music Festival, performing the duet "Schiavo D'Amore" with Piero Mazzocchetti.

In 2014, she took part in the prime-time Rai TV show La Pista as teamleader of the Virality dance troupe. Stewart and the dance team became the overall competition winners. Other well known singer-contestants included Tony Hadley and Sabrina Salerno.

Stewart has been living in Italy since the mid-1980s and is fluent in Italian.


Studio albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]


  • "You Really Touched My Heart" [original release] (1978)[5]
  • "Knock on Wood" (1979) – U.S. #1, U.S. R&B #6, U.S. Club Play #5, UK #6, Germany #13
  • "Light My Fire / 137 Disco Heaven (Medley)" (1979) – U.S. #69, U.S. R&B #36, UK #5, Germany #26
  • "Jealousy" (1979) – Italy #4, Switzerland #5, UK #58, Belgium (Flanders) #18, Netherlands #28, Germany #31[6]
  • "The Letter / Paradise Bird" (1980) – UK #39
  • "My Guy / My Girl (Medley)" (duet with Johnny Bristol) (1980) – U.S. #63, UK #39
  • "Rocky Woman" (1981)
  • "I'm Gonna Get Your Love" (1981)
  • "Where Did Our Love Go" (1981)
  • "Why'd You Have to Be So Sexy" (1981)
  • "Great Balls of Fire" (1982)
  • "Lay Back in the Groove" (1982)
  • "Digital Love" (1982)
  • "Working Late Tonight" (1983)
  • "Grazie Perchè (We've Got Tonite)" (duet with Gianni Morandi) (1983) – Italy #3
  • "Friends" (1984) – U.S. R&B #46, UK #12, Italy #1
  • "Try Love" (1984)
  • "I Gotta Have You Back" – (1984, Italy only)
  • "That Loving Feeling" (1985) – UK #95
  • "Fever Line" (1985)
  • "Together" (duet with Mike Francis) (1985) – Italy #9
  • "Knock on Wood" / "Light My Fire" (Remix) (1985) – UK #7
  • "You Really Touch My Heart" (1985) – UK #89
  • "My Guy – My Girl (Medley)" (duet with Deon Estus) (1986) – UK #63
  • "Love Ain't No Toy" (1986) – UK #99
  • "Time Is Tight" (1986)
  • "Break These Chains" (1986)
  • "Saharan Dreams" (1987)
  • "It's Fantasy" (1988) – Italy #14
  • "I Still Believe" (1988)
  • "Pearls" (with Ennio Morricone) (1990)
  • "Don't Be So Shy" (1992)
  • "Ordinary People" (2012)
  • "Sunshine Girl" (with Gabry Ponte) (2013)


  1. ^ "Miquel Brown – He's A Saint He's A Sinner". YouTube. 2007-04-01. Retrieved 2012-04-26.
  2. ^ a b "Disco Profiles - Amii Stewart". 1979-01-27. Archived from the original on 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2012-04-26.
  3. ^ "Amii Stewart: "Sarò per sempre grata a 'Knock on wood' e alla disco" - Intervista". Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  4. ^ "Amii Stewart – The Best Of Amii Stewart (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-04-26.
  5. ^ Amii Stewart – "You Really Touched My Heart" Retrieved 2-26-2014.
  6. ^ "Jealousy" on Archived April 19, 2015, at the Wayback Machine

Sources and external links[edit]