Joanna (Kool & the Gang song)

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Single by Kool & the Gang
from the album In the Heart
B-side"Place for Us"
ReleasedNovember 5, 1983
GenreR&B, pop
Length4:20 (Album)
4:02 (Single)
Songwriter(s)Robert Earl Bell, Ronald Nathan Bell, James Bonnefond, George Melvin Brown, James "J.T." Taylor, Claydes Charles Smith, Clifford Adams and Curtis "Fitz" Williams
Kool & the Gang singles chronology
"Get Down on It"
Alternative cover
French single sleeve

"Joanna" is a song by Kool & the Gang from their 1983 album In the Heart. It was released as a single in November 1983.


A romantic ballad similar to many of Kool & The Gang's later releases, the song features as its main subject the eponymous lady named Joanna. In the group's music video, Joanna is portrayed as the current owner of a small, roadside café named Joanna's Diner. The video was filmed at the Colonial Diner in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, and the Colonial sign can be seen briefly outside in the opening seconds of the video. Throughout the video, she serves the band members as both cook and waitress as they serenade her, and the video occasionally flashes to her younger days as a dancer at the Cotton Club in Harlem who is in love with the character portrayed by James "J.T." Taylor, the group's lead singer.

Chart performance[edit]

The song was an immediate hit, peaking at #2 in the United States for one week.[1] Additionally, the track reached #2 in the UK as well as #1 on the U.S. R&B chart.[2]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1983–1984) Peak
Australia 45
Canada (RPM Top Singles) 15
Canada (RPM Adult Contemporary)[3] 1
Ireland (IRMA)[4] 4
New Zealand (RMNZ)[5][6] 7
South Africa (Springbok)[7] 21
UK Singles Chart 2
US Billboard Hot 100 2
US Billboard Adult Contemporary 2
US Billboard Hot Black Singles 1
US Cash Box Top 100 3

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1984) Rank
UK Singles[8] 23
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 24


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[10] Silver 250,000^
United States (RIAA)[11] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Cover versions[edit]

  • In 1989, Japanese singing duo Wink covered the song in the Japanese language with custom lyrics focusing on friendship.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Billboard Hot 100". February 11, 1984. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  2. ^ Dean, Maury (2003). Rock N' Roll Gold Rush. Algora. p. 287. ISBN 0-87586-207-1.
  3. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". March 10, 1984. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  4. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Joanna". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  5. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 1984-04-08.
  6. ^ "Kool & the Gang - Joanna".
  7. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  8. ^ "Top 100 1984". Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  9. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1984/Top 100 Songs of 1984". Music Outfitters. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  10. ^ "British single certifications – Kool & the Gang – Joanna". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved April 25, 2023.
  11. ^ "American single certifications – Kool & the Gang – Joanna". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved April 25, 2023.