Sweet Thing (Chaka Khan song)

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"Sweet Thing"
Sweet Thing by Rufus and Chaka Khan US vinyl.jpg
Side-A label of U.S. 7-inch vinyl single
Single by Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
from the album Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
Released November 28, 1975
Recorded 1975
Genre R&B, adult contemporary, smooth soul
Length 3:19
Label ABC
Writer(s) Chaka Khan, Tony Maiden
Producer(s) Rufus
Rufus featuring Chaka Khan singles chronology
"Please Pardon Me (You Remind Me of a Friend)"
"Sweet Thing"
"Dance Wit Me"
"Sweet Thing"
Sweet Thing by Mary J. Blige US 7-inch 1992.jpg
Side-A label of commercial U.S. 7-inch vinyl single
Single by Mary J. Blige
from the album What's the 411? and What's the 411? Remix
Released April 2, 1993 (1993-04-02)
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 song performed by American funk and R&B band Rufus with vocals by American singer Chaka Khan, also a member of the band. Initially recorded and released a single in late 1975, it 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. The record appears on the band's fourth album Rufus featuring Chaka Khan (1975).

Cover versions[edit]

In 1993, American singer-songwriter 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. This version appeared on her debut album What's the 411? (1992). It became Blige's third top 40 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

In 1997, contemporary jazz saxophonist Boney James did another remake of the song; it was 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 redoing 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 "Disrespectful" at the Montreux 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. ^ Jonathan Widran. "Sweet Thing - Boney James | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-03-26. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 

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