Hold On (En Vogue song)

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"Hold On"
EnVogue HoldOn.jpg
Single by En Vogue
from the album Born to Sing
B-side "Lies"
  • February 23, 1990 (airplay)
  • March 5, 1990 (cassette/CD single)
Format 7", 12", CD single
Recorded August–September 1989[1]
Genre R&B, new jack swing
Length 5:04
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) Thomas McElroy, Denzil Foster, En Vogue (Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, Dawn Robinson)
Producer(s) Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy
En Vogue singles chronology
"Hold On"

"Hold On" is a song by American recording group En Vogue released in 1990. It is the first single from their debut album, Born to Sing. The song was produced by producing duo Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy and composed by all members of En Vogue, Thomas and Foster.


The song opens with an a cappella rendition of the Motown standard "Who's Lovin' You", written by Smokey Robinson and originally recorded by his group, The Miracles. It features lead vocals by Cindy Herron and Terry Ellis vocals on the introduction. The song also contains a guitar sample from "The Payback" by James Brown.

Commercial performance[edit]

Following its release, the single peaked to #1 one on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles,[2] #2 on Billboard Hot 100, and #1 on Billboards Hot Dance chart.[3] "Hold On" was also a huge hit in several countries, reaching the top five or top 10; #5 in the UK, #5 in New Zealand, #6 in Germany, #10 in the Netherlands. and #12 in Austrian.

In 1990, the single became one of the biggest hits in the US and overseas. "Hold On" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Year-End chart for 1990 as the top R&B hit,[4] and as the No. 8 pop hit on the Billboard Year-End chart.

En Vogue performed the song at the 2008 BET Awards with Alicia Keys. In 2007, the song's chorus was used and performed by Pharrell on Jay-Z's song "Blue Magic" The song was also sampled in the Terminator X song "Buck Whylin'.

Impact and legacy[edit]

The Daily Telegraph ranked "Hold On" at #47 in their Top 50 Dance Songs list in 2015, adding:

"R&B girl group En Vogue broke through with this club classic. A piercing a cappella rendition of Motown standard Who's Lovin You leads into a hip-hop beat with a funky bass line, horn and piano stabs. "You've got to hold on, to your love", the girls proclaim, and it is their powerful singing that carries this one."[5]

Formats and track listings[edit]

  • US 12" vinyl single
  1. "Hold On" (album version) – 5:18
  2. "Hold On" (instrumental) – 3:56
  3. "Hold On" (dub version) – 3:59
  • UK CD single
  1. "Hold On" (Tuff Jam's radio mix) – 4:04
  2. "Hold On" (C-Swing's Jerk Mix radio edit) – 4:00
  3. "Hold On" (Tuff Jam's classic garage mix) – 6:17
  • US CD single
  1. "Hold On" – 5:07
  2. "Lies" – 3:59


  • Executive-producer – David Lombard, Denzil Foster
  • Lead vocals, backing vocals, vocals [dialogues] – Cindy Herron, Dawn Robinson, Maxine Jones, Terry Ellis
  • Lyrics by – En Vogue, Thomas McElroy, Denzil Foster
  • Music by, keyboards, drum programming [drum machine programming] – Thomas McElroy, Denzil Foster
  • Keyboards (remix version) – Mark Fisher
  • Remix, producer – Karl "Tuff Enuff" Brown, Matt "Jam" Lamont
  • Saxophone – Grover Washington, Jr.
  • Vocals – En Vogue
  • Vocals (dialogues) – Denzil Foster, Thomas McElroy
  • Producer, arranged by – Thomas McElroy and Denzil Foster

Tracks & credits from Single liner notes[6]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Album / Track Result
1990 Billboard Music Award R&B Single of the Year "Hold On" Won
1991 Grammy Award Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group "Hold On" Nomination
1991 Soul Train Music Award Best Single by a Duo/Group "Hold On" Won

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "WebVoyage Record View 1". Cocatalog.loc.gov. 1989-10-02. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 189. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 90. 
  4. ^ "Year End Charts - Year-end Singles - Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard.com. Archived from the original on 2007-11-10. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  5. ^ "Top 50 dance songs". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  6. ^ "En Vogue Hold On" US Single at Discogs
  7. ^ AUS Charts > En Vogue Archived 2012-11-03 at the Wayback Machine.. ARIA Charts.
  8. ^ "AUT Charts > En Vogue". Ö3 Austria Top 40. Archived from the original on 2011-01-23. Retrieved 2011-08-16. 
  9. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  10. ^ "BEL Charts > En Vogue". Ultratop. Retrieved 2011-08-16. 
  11. ^ "NZ Charts > En Vogue". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 2012-11-04. Retrieved 2011-08-16. 
  12. ^ "NLD Charts > En Vogue". MegaCharts. Retrieved 2011-08-16. 
  13. ^ "SWI Charts > En Vogue". Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  14. ^ "GER Charts > En Vogue". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-08-16. 
  15. ^ "UK Charts > En Vogue". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-08-16. 
  16. ^ a b c "Artist Chart History - En Vogue". Billboard. 
  17. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1990". Archived from the original on 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  18. ^ RIAA. US Certifications > En Vogue Singles Archived 2013-02-25 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved, 2016-10-10

External links[edit]