On My Own (Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald song)

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"On My Own"
Patti LaBelle - On My Own.png
Single by Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald
from the album Winner in You
B-side"Stir it Up"
ReleasedMarch 22, 1986
  • Burt Bacharach
  • Carole Bayer Sager
Patti LaBelle singles chronology
"Stir It Up"
"On My Own"
"Oh, People"
Michael McDonald singles chronology
"No Lookin' Back"
"On My Own"
"Sweet Freedom"
Music video
"On My Own" on YouTube

"On My Own" is a duet by American singers Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald. It was written and produced by Burt Bacharach and his former wife Carole Bayer Sager and originally recorded by singer Dionne Warwick for inclusion on her album Friends (1985). Eventually recorded by LaBelle and McDonald for her eighth studio album Winner in You (1986). It was released as the album's lead single on March 22, 1986 by MCA Records. Lyrically, "On My Own" was based on a relationship that had reached its end with both parties going their separate ways in a melancholy state with the occasional option of coming back together again one day.

The two performers were in separate cities when they recorded their individual parts which were then "married" during mixing. This was reflected in the music video produced to promote the song, which depicted LaBelle and McDonald performing the song simultaneously on different coasts.[1] The singers were shown on separate sides of a split screen, each singing the song while walking through apartments which had identical layouts but different decor and furniture. The views from their respective porches, where they finished the song, made clear their separation by the continent.

Chart performance[edit]

The song became the biggest hit single ever for both singers as it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three weeks. "On My Own" also reached the number-one spot on the then-Black Singles chart (for four weeks), and if it were not for "Greatest Love of All" by Whitney Houston and "Live to Tell" by Madonna, it might have reached the number-one spot on the Adult Contemporary chart as well ("On My Own" instead had to settle for a number-two peak on the AC chart, also for three weeks). In the United Kingdom, the song peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart, going gold (it was the 22nd best-selling single of 1986 in the United Kingdom). The song was initially not intended to be a duet at all, but LaBelle decided to invite McDonald to help her turn the song into a duet, as she stated: "The song was sent to me and I did a version of it but somehow it just didn't quite work. We were going over things I'd done and we talked about turning it into a duet. Someone asked, 'If you could do it with anyone, who would you sing it with?', and Michael was my first choice."[2]


All-time charts[edit]

Chart (1958-2018) Position
US Billboard Hot 100[15] 277


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] Gold 500,000^
United States (RIAA)[17] Platinum 2,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Cover versions[edit]

Reba McEntire version[edit]

"On My Own"
On My Own (Reba McEntire single).jpg
Single by Reba McEntire
from the album Starting Over
B-side"Read My Mind"
ReleasedSeptember 16, 1995
LabelMCA Nashville
Songwriter(s)Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager
Producer(s)Tony Brown, Reba McEntire
Reba McEntire singles chronology
"And Still"
"On My Own"
"Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands"

In September 1995, country entertainer Reba McEntire released the song as the first single from her album Starting Over. Her version, featuring guest vocals from Martina McBride, Linda Davis and Trisha Yearwood peaked at #20 on Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, although only McEntire received chart credit for it. Its music video was directed by Dominic Orlando and was filmed on the Chaplin Stage.

The four artists performed the song on the 1995 Country Music Association Awards, and again on the 1996 Academy of Country Music Awards.


Chart (1995) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[18] 22
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[19] 20


  1. ^ LaBelle, Patti. "On My Own". music video. YouTube. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  4. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Patti LaBelle – On My Own" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  5. ^ "Ultratop.be – Patti LaBelle – On My Own" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  6. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Patti LaBelle – On My Own" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  7. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Patti LaBelle – On My Own" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  8. ^ "Charts.nz – Patti LaBelle – On My Own". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  9. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Patti LaBelle – On My Own". Singles Top 100. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  10. ^ "Patti LaBelle: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  11. ^ "Patti LaBelle Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  12. ^ "Patti LaBelle Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  13. ^ "Patti LaBelle Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  14. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (December 27, 1986). "1986 The Year in Music & Video: Top Pop Singles". Billboard. 98 (52): Y-21.
  15. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  16. ^ "British single certifications – Patti LaBelle – On My Own". British Phonographic Industry.Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type On My Own in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  17. ^ "American single certifications – Patti LaBelle – On My Own". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  18. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2792." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. October 30, 1995. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  19. ^ "Reba McEntire Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.

External links[edit]