Sweet Thing (Chaka Khan song)

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"Sweet Thing"
Single by Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
from the album Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
Released November 1975
Recorded November–December 1975
Genre Soul
Length 3:19
Label ABC
Writer(s) Chaka Khan, Tony Maiden
Producer(s) Rufus
Certification Gold
Rufus featuring Chaka Khan singles chronology
"Please Pardon Me (You Remind Me of a Friend)"
"Sweet Thing"
"Dance Wit Me"
"Sweet Thing"
Single by Mary J. Blige
from the album What's the 411? and What's the 411? Remix
Released April 2, 1993
Format Single, maxi single, promo
Recorded 1992
Length 3:44
Label MCA
Writer(s) Chaka Khan, Tony Maiden
Producer(s) Sean "Puffy" Combs, Mark Morales, Mark C. Rooney
Mary J. Blige singles chronology
"Sweet Thing"
"Love No Limit"

"Sweet Thing" is a soul single that was first a hit with Rufus featuring Chaka Khan when they recorded the song in 1975, eventually reaching number-one on the R&B singles chart and number five on the pop chart.[1] The song was co-written by Khan (For her then husband, Richard Holland) and Rufus band mate Tony Maiden and became one of the band and Khan's signature songs.

Eighteen years later, in 1993, the song was covered by R&B singer Mary J. Blige who had a version that was a top forty hit on both sides for a second time with it reaching number twenty-eight pop and number-eleven R&B. In 1997, contemporary jazz saxophonist Boney James did a cover of the song, included on the album titled Sweet Thing. The album's title track included background vocals by original co-writer Tony Maiden.[2][3]

Khan recorded it again for the New York Undercover: a Night at Natalies soundtrack, released in 1998.

Initially, Khan disliked Blige covering it[citation needed] but eventually Khan befriended Blige and the two singers later sang the song together during a VH-1 Divas Live concert in 2003.

Khan and Blige have since recorded the duet "Disrespectful", for Khan's recent release, Funk This.

UK soul singer Beverley Knight has also recorded a version of the song. Knight's version was recorded for a BBC Radio 2 session and was included as the B-side to her single "Not Too Late For Love". Due to the popularity of Knight's version with her fans, it was later included on her Voice - The Best of Beverley Knight compilation. Knight has since been invited to perform the song at Khan's London O2 Arena date[when?] on her UK tour, after collaborating with the singer on her Blige duet "Disrepectul" at the Montreaux Jazz Festival.

Chart positions[edit]

Rufus featuring Chaka Khan version[edit]

Charts Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 5
U.S. Billboard Hot Soul Singles 1

Mary J. Blige version[edit]

Charts Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 28
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 11


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 505. 
  2. ^ Sweet Thing - Boney James from Allmusic.com
  3. ^ http://www.festivalpreview.com/artist/boney-james "Boney James|Festival Preview" from festivalpreview.com

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Inseparable" by Natalie Cole
Billboard's Hot Soul number one single (Rufus featuring Chaka Khan version)
February 21–28, 1976
Succeeded by
"Boogie Fever" by The Sylvers