Lipps Inc.

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Lipps Inc.
Background information
OriginMinneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Years active1979–1985
LabelsCasablanca Records, Phonogram, Polydor, Polyfar, PolyGram
Past membersCynthia Johnson
Steven Greenberg
Margie Cox
Melanie Rosales
Tom Riopelle
Terry Grant
David Rivkin

Lipps Inc. (/ˈlɪpsɪŋk/ LIP-sink, a pun on the phrase "lip sync") was an American disco and funk group from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The group is best known for the chart-topping 1980 worldwide hit single "Funkytown", which hit No. 1 in 28 countries and was certified as double platinum in sales.[2]

The group originally consisted of lead vocalist Cynthia Johnson and a changing line-up of session musicians including guitarist David Rivkin, guitarist Tom Riopelle and bassist Terry Grant. Steven Greenberg, the creator of the act, wrote and produced most of the group's music.[3]


Lipps Inc. started as a project of Steven Greenberg, at the time a wedding DJ who wanted to try his hand at writing disco songs. He had intended to use the name Lip Sync, but it was already in use by another group, so instead he chose the homophone Lipps, Inc. Greenberg was the sole member of the group until he met Cynthia Johnson while auditioning singers for his song "Rock It". Johnson subsequently joined the project and Lipps Inc. became a duo.[4]

Lipps Inc.'s first release was a 1979 single, "Rock It", on Greenberg's own Flight imprint. The act released its debut album Mouth to Mouth in late 1979.

The second single from this album, "Funkytown", spent four weeks at #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts in the United States. The 7" single sold over two million copies within a few months and was awarded a platinum record within the year of its release.[5] It reached #2 in the United Kingdom[6] and was a hit throughout the world.

Lipps Inc.'s later singles failed to match the band's initial success (the only other Hot 100 entry was "Rock It", which peaked at #64). However, more dance hits were released during the 1980s, including "How Long" in 1981 (originally a hit for Ace), which reached #4 on the U.S. dance chart. After the third album Designer Music, Johnson left the band and was replaced by Margie Cox and Melanie Rosales. Lipps Inc. released its final album, 4, in 1983, and disbanded two years later.


The 'face' of the group in the Netherlands was the British dancer Doris D (Debbie Jenner), who playbacked the song in TopPop with her dancers. Due to the success of this performance, they were also invited to perform as Lipps Inc. in other European countries, including Germany, Jenner and her dancers then had success as Doris D & The Pins in early 1981.[citation needed]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

  • Three Billboard Music Awards, 1980
  • Platinum and Double-Platinum Status with Funkytown
  • Inductee into Minnesota Music Hall of Fame


Studio albums[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions

Mouth to Mouth 1979 5 5 57 7 12 11 23 21 10
Pucker Up 1980 63 37 40 46
Designer Music 1981
4 1983
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Compilation albums[edit]

Title Album details
Funkyworld: The Best of Lipps, Inc.


List of singles with year of release and chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications


"Rock It" 1979 64 20 85
"Funkytown" 1980 1 1 2 1 1 1 5 1 1 2 2
"Designer Music" 11
"All Night Dancing" 1981 1
"How Long" 4 29 44 42 32 6 30 16
"There They Are"
"Tight Pair" 1982 4
"Addicted to the Night" 8 78
"Hold Me Down" 1983 11 70
"Choir Practice" 8
"Hit the Deck" 32
"Does Anybody Know" 1984 32
"Power" 1985
"Gossip Song"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Lipps, Inc. – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  2. ^ "Cynthia Johnson - Bio". Archived from the original on September 16, 2017. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  3. ^ "The Official Funkytown Website". Archived from the original on December 10, 2005. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  4. ^ Swensson, Andrea. "Steven Greenberg talks about creating Lipps, Inc. and writing 'Funkytown'". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Lipps, Inc. - Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on September 12, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "LIPPS INC | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 178. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  8. ^ "Discographie Lipps, Inc". (in German). Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  9. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums - August 12, 1980" (PDF).
  10. ^ "Suche nach "Lipps, Inc." (Album)". (in German). Retrieved August 10, 2013.[dead link]
  11. ^ a b "Discografie Lipps, Inc". (in Dutch). Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Discography Lipps, Inc". Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  13. ^ a b "Discography Lipps, Inc". Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  14. ^ Suche nach "Lipps, Inc." (Single)[dead link] (in German). Accessed on August 10, 2013.
  15. ^ "Classifiche". Musica e dischi (in Italian). Retrieved June 5, 2022. Select "Album" in the "Tipo" field, type "Lipps Inc." in the "Titolo" field and press "cerca".
  16. ^ "Lipps Inc. - Funky Town". Retrieved March 25, 2022.

External links[edit]