Jamie Principle was a pioneer of house music when the genre began in Chicago in the early 1980s. "Jamie Principle got us all into the music," Marshall Jefferson told i-D in 1986. "He was the first one to record house and get played by Frankie Knuckles, but by the time he got a record out (over three years ago) everyone had ripped off all his ideas and were tired of his songs. People have got national recognition copying his songs note-for-note, but he hasn't got a deal, and no one has heard of him."
Principle began having entries on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in the early 1990s, including "Cold World", a #22 dance hit that is a collaboration with Steve "Silk" Hurley, the classic "You're All I Waited For" on the Smash Records label, or with CeCe Peniston's song "I'm Not Over You" (#2 in US Dance, #10 in US R&B) that he would co-write.
Principle's 1984 song "Your Love" is recognised as one of the first house songs. Its lyrics come from a poem that Principle wrote for his girlfriend at the time, Lisa Harris. Jamie added the music and recorded the song at home on his four-track recorder. A friend, Jose Gomez, recorded the song on tape and gave a copy to DJ Frankie Knuckles. Knuckles liked the song and played it regularly at the Chicago dance club The Power Plant. It was a sensation in the city's underground clubs for over a year before being released on Persona Records as a 12" single. Its success before an official release was entirely due to the song being played in Chicago house clubs, then copied onto tape by fans, and circulating throughout the underground scene.
Jamie's music continued to be released throughout the 1980s but often credited Knuckles as the artist. These releases included "Baby Wants to Ride", "Cold World", "Bad Boy", "Rebels", "Waiting on My Angel" and "I'm Gonna Make You Scream". In 1992, Principle released a dance album titled The Midnite Hour.
In 2004, Principle hit #1 on the US Dance Chart with "Back N Da Day", an acknowledged collaboration with the by-then house-music legend Knuckles.
- List of number-one dance hits (United States)
- List of artists who reached number one on the US Dance chart
- Club Zanzibar (black electronic-music venue in 1980s-era Newark, New Jersey)
- History of House Mucis Pt4 Jamie Principle influence to house music