Free (Deniece Williams song)

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Free (Deniece Williams song).jpg
Single by Deniece Williams
from the album This Is Niecy

March 1976 (UK)

December 1976 (US)
Format 7", CD single
Recorded Autumn 1975
Genre Soul, R&B
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) Deniece Williams, Hank Redd, Nathan Watts, Susaye Greene
Producer(s) Maurice White, Charles Stepney

"Free" is a 1976 song by Deniece Williams which was included on her album This Is Niecy. The song was written by Williams, Hank Redd, Nathan Watts and Susaye Greene and produced by Maurice White and Charles Stepney.[1]

"Free" was Williams' breakthrough single as it got to No. 2 on the US Billboard R&B and No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts[2][3] The single also rose to No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart.[4][5]


Year Chart Peak
1976 US R&B
1977 US Billboard Hot 100
1977 US Billboard Adult Contemporary
1977 US Cash Box
1977 UK Singles Chart


  • Williams’s own niece Shatasha Williams (vocalist on Bone Thugs N Harmony’s Thuggish Ruggish Bone)
  • Zhané performed the song as guest stars on the New York Undercover episode "Mama Said Knock You Out".
  • Polish jazz musician Michał Urbaniak covered the song in Ecstasy (1978).
  • Billy MacKenzie covered the song in 1991, on B.E.F.'s Music of Quality and Distinction Volume Two.
  • Chanté Moore recorded "Free" for her 1994 album A Love Supreme, with a sampling of "Sail On" from the Commodores.
  • Debelah Morgan recorded an upbeat version of this song for her debut album Debelah in 1994.
  • In 1998, M-Doc's version of the song recorded for his album Young, Black, Rich and Famous and released as the lead single charted at number sixty-one on the U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles.[6]
  • Towa Tei produced a track called "Free" heavily based on the song in 2002.
  • Juanita Dailey covered the song from her first and only album of the same title, released in 1998.
  • In 2002, En Vogue performed the song on their concert DVD, Live in the USA.
  • Bassist Marcus Miller recorded "Free" for his 2007 album of the same name. Corinne Bailey Rae provided lead vocals.[7][8]
  • Seal recorded this song for his 2008 album Soul.[9]
  • Bebi Dol recorded song for her cover album Čovek rado izvan sebe živi.[10]
  • DJ Nate used loops from the song for his Juke-track "Free" on the 2010 album Da Trak Genious.
  • Will Downing covered "Free" on his self-titled debut album in 1988.
  • In 2012, Skye Townsend, an independent R&B-soul and Pop artist covered and performed the song as a spoken-word poem featuring Wyann Vaughn. The song was featured on her debut EP album, Vomit.
  • UK singer Max Marshall covered the song in 2014, titled "Be Free".
  • The Pale Fountains covered the song in 1983 and it appears on their album "Longshot For Your Love"
  • English Soul-tronica band Queen's Troubadour did a remake of Williams' song titled "Free '14"
  • Walter Beasley covers the song on his 2007 album "Ready for Love".


  1. ^ Andy Kellman. "This Is Niecy - Deniece Williams | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  2. ^ a b "Deniece Williams: Free (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". 
  3. ^ a b "Deniece Williams: Free (Hot 100)". 
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 339. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  5. ^ a b "Deniece Williams (Singles)". Official 
  6. ^ "Young, Black, Rich and Famous - M-Doc | Awards". AllMusic. 1998-10-27. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  7. ^ "Free overview". Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  8. ^ "Jazz Vibes by Ginger Dee". Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  9. ^ "Free - Deniece Williams | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  10. ^ "Bebi Dol - Čovek Rado Izvan Sebe Živi (CD, Album) at Discogs". Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
Preceded by
"Knowing Me, Knowing You" by ABBA
UK number -one single
May 7, 1977
Succeeded by
"I Don't Want to Talk About It/The First Cut is the Deepest" by Rod Stewart