On My Own (Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald song)

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"On My Own"
Single by Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald
from the album Winner in You
Released March 22, 1986
Format Maxi single, CD
Recorded 1985
Genre R&B, pop
Length 4:33 (single edit) / 4:50 (album)
Label MCA
Writer(s) Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager
Producer(s) Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager
Certification Gold (RIAA)
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" was a Billboard #1 hit duet by singers Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald when it was released as a single in 1986. It was released from LaBelle's first platinum album, Winner in You and was written and produced by Burt Bacharach and his former wife Carole Bayer Sager. The song was originally recorded by singer Dionne Warwick for inclusion on her album Friends. It is unclear why the song was not included on the final track list. The song 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.

It was often stated 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 chart for 3 weeks, as well as charting highly on the R&B and Adult Contemporary charts. In the UK, the song peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart, going gold (it was the 22nd best-selling single of 1986 in the UK). 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]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 1
US Billboard Hot Black Singles 1
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 2
Austrian Singles chart 20
Canadian RPM 100 1
Dutch Singles chart 1
New Zealand RIANZ chart 4
Swedish Singles chart 15
UK Singles Chart 2

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1986) Position
US Billboard Hot 100 4
Preceded by
"Live to Tell" by Madonna
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
June 14, 1986 – June 28, 1986
Succeeded by
"There'll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)" by Billy Ocean
Preceded by
"I Have Learned to Respect the Power of Love" by Stephanie Mills
Billboard Hot Black Singles number-one single
May 17, 1986
Succeeded by
"Nasty" by Janet Jackson
Preceded by
"A Different Corner" by George Michael
Canadian RPM 100 number-one single
June 21, 1986 – June 28, 1986
Succeeded by
"There'll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)" by Billy Ocean

Cover versions[edit]

Reba McEntire version[edit]

"On My Own"
Single by Reba McEntire
from the album Starting Over
B-side "Read My Mind"
Released September 16, 1995
Format CD single
Genre Country
Length 4:34
Label MCA Nashville
Writer(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 positions
Chart (1995) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[3] 22
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[4] 20

Other covers[edit]


  1. ^ LaBelle, Patti. "On My Own". music video. youtube.com. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ Patti LaBelle Biography
  3. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2792." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. October 30, 1995. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  4. ^ "Reba McEntire – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Reba McEntire.

External links[edit]