I Feel for You

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"I Feel for You"
Single by Prince
from the album Prince
ReleasedOctober 18, 2019 (acoustic version)
RecordedApril–May 1979[1] (album version)
GenreR&B, funk
Length3:24 (album version)
4:32 (acoustic version)
LabelWarner Bros.

"I Feel for You" is a song written by American musician Prince that originally appeared on his 1979 self-titled album. The most successful and best-known version was recorded by R&B singer Chaka Khan and appeared on her 1984 album of the same name. It became the recipient of two Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song (with Prince as its songwriter) and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for Khan.

Background and other versions[edit]

Prince originally wrote "I Feel For You" and his hit single "I Wanna Be Your Lover" for musician Patrice Rushen, but she turned down both songs.[2][3][4] Prince subsequently recorded them for his eponymous second album, which was released in October 1979.[5] For the song, Prince uses a falsetto vocal with the melody range between C3 and D5.[6]

The Pointer Sisters recorded the song in 1982 on their album So Excited!,[5] and Rebbie Jackson recorded it for her 1984 debut album Centipede.[7] In 1993, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake sang this song on The Mickey Mouse Club.[8]

In October 2019, in honor of the 40th anniversary of the album Prince, the Prince Estate and Warner Records released a previously unheard solo acoustic demo recording of the song, with Prince also performing acoustic guitar. The track became available on streaming services and as a limited-run 7” vinyl single which sold out.[9]


Information taken from Benoît Clerc and Guitarcloud.[10][11]

Chaka Khan version[edit]

"I Feel for You"
7-inch vinyl picture sleeve (also used for 12-inch release with different layout)
Single by Chaka Khan
from the album I Feel for You
ReleasedOctober 1984
  • 5:46 (album version)
  • 4:03 (single version)
LabelWarner Bros.
Producer(s)Arif Mardin
Chaka Khan singles chronology
"Ain't Nobody"
"I Feel for You"
"This Is My Night"
Music video
"I Feel for You" on YouTube

Chaka Khan's version of "I Feel for You" featured a supporting cast including rapping from Melle Mel (of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five); guitar, drum programming, bass guitar, keyboards and arrangement by Reggie Griffin; bass synthesizer and programming by The System's David Frank using an Oberheim DSX sequencer, which was connected to his Minimoog via CV and gate; and chromatic harmonica playing by Stevie Wonder. The song also uses vocal samples from Wonder's song "Fingertips" (1963). The repetition of Khan's name by Melle Mel at the beginning of the song was a mistake made by producer Arif Mardin, who then decided to keep it.[12]

This version of the song sold more than one million copies in the US and UK, and it helped to relaunch Khan's career. The song hit No. 1 on the Cash Box singles chart and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart from the weeks of November 24, 1984 to December 8, 1984, prevented by further chart movement by Prince's "Purple Rain" and Wham!'s massive hit "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go".[13] The song remained on the Billboard Hot 100 for 26 weeks and became one of Billboard's five biggest pop songs of the year for 1985. The single reached No. 1 on both the US dance[14] and R&B charts in late 1984, remaining atop both for three weeks each.[15] In addition, the song also reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, remaining there for three weeks from November 4–25, 1984.[16] While touring with Prince in 1998 in support of her collaborative album, Come 2 My House, Khan and Prince performed "I Feel for You" as a duet.

Khan's version of the song is written in the key of G major with a tempo of 125 beats per minute in common time. Khan's vocals span from D4 to A5 in the song.[17][18]

In 1985 at the 27th Annual Grammy Awards, the Chaka Khan version of "I Feel for You" won the Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female.[19]


Music video[edit]

The first version of the music video for Khan's song featured her working in a club with female dancers. As rap music and breakdancing were gaining popularity in mainstream pop culture at the time, the song was released and proved a success, so another version of the video, in an inner-city courtyard setting, was created.

Director Jane Simpson[20] — who had graduated from UCLA's film school and worked in animation before moving to work on commercials — was brought in as the director for what would be her first music video. Simpson and the production company who produced Chaka Khan’s video for the track had already been working on a video combining some of the early 1980s day-glo fashions with breakdancing and rap. Simpson had already approached several designers who had rejected her concept before Norma Kamali agreed to let her clothing designs appear in the video, which was originally titled “Street Beat”, and shot in a studio mocked-up to look like the multi-racial hip hop club Radio-Tron in the MacArthur Park area in L.A. The choreographer was Joanne DiVito; break dancers appearing in the footage were Shabba Doo, Boogaloo Shrimp, Bruno "Pop N Taco" Falcon and Ana "Lollipop" Sánchez, all of whom also appeared in the movie Breakin'.[21] To this pre-shot footage was added new footage of Chaka Khan and deejay Chris "The Glove" Taylor spinning a hot pink-colored 12-inch single with “Chaka” printed on the label, as well as Khan standing near a chain-link fence and other props, including graffiti-covered panels, on a studio soundstage.[22]

A remixed version of the video was later created to match the 12" vinyl version of the single.


Certifications and sales[edit]

Certifications and sales for "I Feel for You"
Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[52] Gold 639,000[51]
United States (RIAA)[53] Gold 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "I Feel For You". Prince Vault.
  2. ^ Wall, Mick (July 28, 2016). Prince: Purple Reign. Orion Publishing Group. p. 32 – via Internet Archive.
  3. ^ McInnis, C. Liegh (November 1, 2007). "Chapter 5: 'Laying a Foundation'". The Lyrics of Prince Rogers Nelson: A Literary Look at a Creative Musical Poet, Philosopher, and Storyteller (Third ed.). Psychedelic Literature. p. 177. ISBN 978-0965577502.
  4. ^ "5 Songs You Didn't Know Prince Wrote That Were Made Famous by Other Artists". American Songwriter. June 7, 2022. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Webb, Robert (July 15, 2013). 100 Greatest Cover Versions: The Ultimate Playlist. McNidder and Grace Limited. ISBN 9780857160577 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ 'Just Another One of God's Gifts': Prince, African-American Masculinity, and the Sonic Legacy of the Eighties. January 1, 2008. ISBN 9781109120745 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ "Rebbie Jackson – Centipede". Discogs.com. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  8. ^ Greene, Andy (January 22, 2015). "Flashback: Britney, Justin and Christina on 'The Mickey Mouse Club'". Rolling Stone.com. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  9. ^ "I Feel For You (Acoustic Demo) 7" Exclusive Limited Edition". prince.com. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  10. ^ Clerc, Benoît (October 2022). Prince: All the Songs. Octopus. ISBN 9781784728816.
  11. ^ "Prince". guitarcloud.org. Retrieved April 30, 2023.
  12. ^ "Arif Mardin: Tales from the Recording Studio". NPR.org. December 19, 2005. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  13. ^ "Music: Top 100 Songs – Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard. January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  14. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974–2003. Record Research. p. 144.
  15. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 321.
  16. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 442. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  17. ^ "BPM for 'i feel for you' by chaka khan | songbpm.com". songbpm.com. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  18. ^ Prince (December 12, 2011). "Chaka Khan "I Feel for You" Sheet Music in G Major (transposable) – Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  19. ^ "Chaka Khan". www.grammy.com. Retrieved August 6, 2023.
  20. ^ "Chaka Khan: I Feel for You". imdb.com. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  21. ^ "I feel for You Video". Myvideo.de. July 2, 2013. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  22. ^ "'I Feel For You': Chaka Khan's 1984 video featured breakdancing, rap & hip-hop fashion". NightFlight.com. July 10, 2017. Archived from the original on July 10, 2017. Retrieved March 11, 2023.
  23. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St Ives: Australian Chart Book. p. 165. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between mid 1983 and 19 June 1988.
  24. ^ "Chaka Khan – I Feel for You" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  25. ^ "Chaka Khan – I Feel for You" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  26. ^ Lwin, Nanda (2000). Top 40 Hits: The Essential Chart Guide 1975–present. Mississauga: Music Data Canada. ISBN 1-896594-13-1.
  27. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9628." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  28. ^ "European Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Eurotipsheet. Vol. 1, no. 36. December 3, 1985. p. 10. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  29. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2021). "Chaka Khan". Sisältää hitin - 2. laitos Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla 1.1.1960–30.6.2021 (PDF) (in Finnish). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 129. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  30. ^ "Chaka Khan – I Feel for You" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  31. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – I Feel for You". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  32. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 44, 1984" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  33. ^ "Chaka Khan – I Feel for You" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  34. ^ "Chaka Khan – I Feel for You". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  35. ^ "Chaka Khan – I Feel for You". VG-lista. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  36. ^ "Chaka Khan – I Feel for You". Singles Top 100. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  37. ^ "Chaka Khan – I Feel for You". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  38. ^ "Chaka Khan Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  39. ^ "Chaka Khan Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard.
  40. ^ "Chaka Khan Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  41. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Chaka Khan – I Feel for You" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  42. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1984". Ultratop. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  43. ^ "Top 100 Singles of 1984 in Canada". October 25, 2015.
  44. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1984". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  45. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1984". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  46. ^ "Top 100 Singles". Music Week. London, England: Morgan-Grampian plc: 37. January 26, 1985.
  47. ^ "Kent Music Report No 599 – 30 December 1985 > National Top 100 Singles for 1985". Kent Music Report. Retrieved September 30, 2020 – via Imgur.com.
  48. ^ "RPM's Top 100 Singles of 1985". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  49. ^ "Top 100 Songs of 1985 - Billboard Year End Charts". Archived from the original on October 23, 2018. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  50. ^ "Top 100 Singles–Jahrescharts 1985" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  51. ^ Rob Copsey (April 2, 2021). "Official Top 40 best-selling songs of 1984". Official Charts. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  52. ^ "British single certifications – Chaka Khan – I Feel for You". British Phonographic Industry.
  53. ^ "American single certifications – Chaka Khan – I Feel for You". Recording Industry Association of America.