It became a number 1 hit on the US BillboardHot 100 on April 5, 1975. Additionally, it reached number 2 on the UK Singles chart, and number 3 on the BillboardR&B chart. In the US, Billboard ranked it as the number 13 song for 1975. The song is especially known for Riperton's use of the high whistle register in the song's bridge, and for the chirping songbirds heard throughout.
It was the fourth single from Riperton's album Perfect Angel (1974). As with the rest of the album, the keyboard backing is played by Stevie Wonder (credited as "El Toro Negro", Spanish for the black bull, as Wonder is a Taurus).
According to the liner notes from Riperton's compilation album Petals, the melody for "Lovin' You" was created to be a distraction for her baby daughter (Maya Rudolph) so that Minnie and her husband Richard could hang out. Maya was in the studio with Riperton on the day it was recorded and Riperton can be heard singing her daughter's name at the end, but only in the unedited or album version. The song fades out early in the radio edit because the disc jockeys felt that the repeated "Maya" was being overdone and that it would be misunderstood as a religious chant.
The Orb song, "A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules from the Centre of the Ultraworld" was initially called "Loving You" after the Minnie Riperton song. The Orb's version, as it was originally played live, sampled heavily from Riperton. On signing to the label Big Life, the Orb changed the title of the song, usually leaving "Loving You" as a subtitle. Upon the single's release, Riperton's management forced Big Life to remove the unlicensed Riperton samples, ensuring that only the initial first-week release of the single contained the original vocals of Minnie Riperton; subsequent pressings used vocals from a sound-alike. The version played live on BBC radio (with samples of Riperton) ended up on John Peel's Festive Fifty for 1990. The recorded version released as a single, despite being near 20 minutes in length, reached No. 78 on the UK Singles Chart.
Shanice's cover of the song was released in the summer of 1992 months after the success of her hit "I Love Your Smile". It only achieved minor success on the US BillboardR&B chart peaking at number 59; it also peaked at number 54 on the UK chart. The music video for the song is set on a beach. In 2005, she re-recorded the song again for her 2006 album Every Woman Dreams.