Shining Star (Earth, Wind & Fire song)

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"Shining Star"
Shining Star Earth, Wind & Fire.jpg
Single by Earth, Wind & Fire
from the album That's the Way of the World
B-side"Yearnin' Learnin'"
ReleasedJanuary 21, 1975
Format7", 45 RPM CD Single
RecordedAutumn 1974
Songwriter(s)Maurice White, Larry Dunn, Philip Bailey
Producer(s)Maurice White
Earth, Wind & Fire singles chronology
"Hot Dawgit"
"Shining Star"
"Sun Goddess"

"Shining Star" is a 1975 song by Earth, Wind & Fire from their album That's the Way of the World. The song was written by Maurice White, Larry Dunn and Philip Bailey and produced by White. "Shining Star" was Earth, Wind & Fire's first major hit, hitting No. 1 on both the U.S. Hot 100 and R&B charts from 1975. [1]

"Shining Star" is considered a prime example of funk music that attained mainstream success.[1] The concept for the song came to White while strolling at night during the band's recording of "That's the Way of the World". He was inspired by looking up at the starry sky and took his ideas about the song to the other band members. The song is noted for the way the instruments drop out during the last repeated choruses with the group singing the final lines a cappella followed by the song's abrupt end.[2]


"Shining Star" won Earth, Wind & Fire a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.[3] The single was successful commercially, selling over a million copies. It has been certified gold as up until the RIAA lowered the sales levels for certified singles in 1989, a Gold single equaled one million units sold.[4][5]

Earth, Wind & Fire performed "Shining Star" on the television series The Midnight Special.[6]

In the film Doctor Strange (2016) neurosurgeon Dr. Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, scrubs up and performs brain surgery as he listens to "Shining Star".

It appears in a 2017 TV commercial for Walmart, in which their 1.5 million associates - "shining stars" - are thanked for their work during the Christmas season.[7]


Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1975-1976) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Soul Singles 1


The information regarding accolades attributed to "Shining Star" is adapted from and awards on[8][9]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Pause & Play U.S. Songs Inducted into a Time Capsule, One Album per Week 2008 *
The Recording Academy U.S. Grammy Hall of Fame Albums and Songs 2007 *
Dave Marsh U.S. The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made 1989 433
Bruce Pollock U.S. The 7,500 Most Important Songs of 1944-2000 2005 *

(*) designates lists that are unordered.


  1. ^ a b Dean, Maury (2003). Rock N' Roll Gold Rush. Algora. p. 289. ISBN 0-87586-207-1.
  2. ^ Flans, Robyn (December 1, 2004). "Classic Tracks: Earth, Wind & Fire's "Shining Star"". Archived from the original on November 10, 2009. Retrieved May 7, 2009.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2017-09-11.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Rock Music, etc., Terms". Retrieved 2009-03-23.
  6. ^ Earth, Wind & Fire Shining Star LIVE Midnight Special 1975 on YouTube
  7. ^ "Walmart TV Commercial, 'Thanks to All Our Associates' Song By Earth, Wind and Fire". Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  8. ^ "Shining Star". Acclaimed Music. Archived from the original on 2016-04-14. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  9. ^ [2]

External links[edit]