Wishing on a Star

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Wishing on a Star"
Wishing on a Star - Rose Royce.jpg
Single by Rose Royce
from the album In Full Bloom
B-side"Love, More Love"
  • 4:52 (album version)
  • 3:57 (single version)
Songwriter(s)Billie Rae Calvin
Producer(s)Norman Whitfield
Rose Royce singles chronology
"Ooh Boy"
"Wishing on a Star"
"It Makes You Feel Like Dancin'"

"Wishing on a Star" is a slow ballad written by former The Undisputed Truth member Billie Rae Calvin and produced by Norman Whitfield. The song was originally offered to Barbra Streisand for her album project but later declined. It was first recorded as a single by Rose Royce in 1977 and has since been recorded by numerous other artists, including The Cover Girls in 1992, Seal in 2011, Jay-Z in 1998 and Beyonce in 2005.

Rose Royce version[edit]

Included on their second album, In Full Bloom, "Wishing on a Star" is a slow ballad written by former Undisputed Truth member Billie Rae Calvin and produced by Norman Whitfield. It was sung by Gwen Dickey under her stage name. The lyrics concern a woman longing for the return of an ex-lover so that they can resume their relationship. The original version of "Wishing on a Star" peaked at number 52 on the Billboard R&B singles chart.


Chart (1978) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop Flanders) 22
Belgium (VRT Top 30) 14
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 14
Netherlands (Single Top 100) 15
UK Singles (OCC) 3
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard) 1
US Hot Soul Singles (Billboard)[1] 52

Fresh 4 version[edit]

British DJ and production group, Fresh 4, released their cover in September 1989. It was produced by Smith & Mighty and featured Lizz E, and became the group's only notable UK hit, peaking at number 10 on the UK Singles Chart.[2]


Chart (1989) Peak
Ireland (IRMA) 22
UK Singles (OCC) 10

The Cover Girls version[edit]

"Wishing on a Star"
The Cover Girls-Wishing on a Star.jpg
Single by the Cover Girls
from the album Here It Is
ReleasedMay 1992
Length4:05 (single edit), 4:44 (album version)
LabelEpic Records
Songwriter(s)Billie Rae Calvin
Producer(s)Tony Moran, Andy Marvel
The Cover Girls singles chronology
"Funk Boutique"
"Wishing on a Star"
"Thank You'"

The Cover Girls recorded a cover of the song in 1992 for their third album Here It Is. It was the first single featuring new lead singer Michelle Valentine. The group's version peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became the 49th biggest single of 1992 in America.[3] While the group had had success in America up to that point, the single was their first single to become a hit when it was released in Europe, peaking at number 6 in the Netherlands and number 38 in the UK.[4]

In Brazil, this version gained popularity after being included in the soap opera De Corpo e Alma soundtrack, being the theme of the character Yasmin Bianchi, who was played by deceased actress Daniella Perez.

The Cover Girls also recorded a Spanish version of the song.

Formats and track listings[edit]


  1. "Wishing On A Star (Radio Edit)"
  2. "Wishing On A Star (Spanish Version)"

CD MAXI[edit]

  1. "Wishing On A Star (7" Version)"
  2. "Wishing On A Star (12" Mix)"
  3. "Wishing On A Star (Magic Sessions Dub 1)"
  4. "Wishing On A Star (Magic Sessions Vocal Dub)"
  5. "Wishing On A Star (Jeep 12")"



  1. "Wishing On A Star (12" Mix)"
  2. "Wishing On A Star (Jeep 12")"
  3. "Wishing On A Star (Magic Sessions Dub 1)"


  1. "Wishing On A Star (TNT Dub)"
  2. "Wishing On A Star (Amigo Dub)"
  3. "Wishing On A Star (Acapella)"


Randy Crawford version[edit]

"Wishing on a Star"
Single by Randy Crawford
from the album Every Kind of Mood: Raandy, Randi, Randee
ReleasedSeptember 1998
Length3:59 (single edit), 4:50 (album version)
Songwriter(s)Billie Rae Calvin
Producer(s)Mousse T.
Randy Crawford singles chronology
"Wishing on a Star"
"The Captain of Her Heart"

Randy Crawford recorded a cover of the song for her 1998 album Every Kind of Mood: Randy, Randi, Randee. The song was produced by Mousse T., and released as the third single off the album in September 1998.


Chart (1998) Peak
Germany (Official German Charts) 83
UK Singles (OCC) 90
UK R&B (OCC)[6] 21
US Hot Dance Club Play (Billboard) 14

Jay-Z version[edit]

"Wishing on a Star"
Single by Jay-Z featuring Gwen Dickey
from the album In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 (UK Edition)
ReleasedMarch 11, 1998
Jay-Z singles chronology
"Be Alone No More"
"Wishing on a Star"
"It's Alright"
Gwen Dickey singles chronology
"One Too Many Heartaches"
"Wishing on a Star"

American rapper Jay-Z covered Wishing on a Star, featuring Gwen Dickey of Rose Royce, in 1998. It is featured on the United Kingdom release of In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 and Greatest Hits. The D'Influence remix can be found on Chapter One: Greatest Hits and Bring It On: The Best of Jay Z.

A music video for the song was also released, showing a child actor David Sincere Aiken portraying Jay-Z growing up in Marcy Houses. Jay-Z himself does not appear in the video played by celebrity choreographer David Sincere Aiken .[7]

Track listings[edit]


  1. "Wishing on a Star (Radio Edit)"
  2. "Wishing on a Star (Trackmasters Remix)"
  3. "Wishing on a Star (D Influence Remix)"
  4. "Brooklyn's Finest"
  5. "Wishing on a Star (Trackmasters Acappella)"


  1. "Wishing on a Star (D Influence Remix)"
  2. "Wishing on a Star (Radio Edit)"
  1. "Wishing on a Star (Trackmasters Remix)"
  2. "Imaginary Players"
  3. "Wishing on a Star (Trackmasters Acappella)"


Chart (1998) Peak
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[8] 48
Germany (Media Control Charts)[9] 56
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 29
Scotland (OCC)[10] 55
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 50
UK Singles (OCC)[4] 13
UK R&B (OCC)[11] 5

Beyoncé version[edit]

"Wishing on a Star"
Beyoncé - Wishing on a Star.jpg
2010 digital release cover
Single by Beyoncé
from the album Roll Bounce: The Album
ReleasedSeptember 2005
LabelMusic World Music Inc.
Songwriter(s)Billie Rae Calvin
Beyoncé singles chronology
"Naughty Girl"
"Wishing on a Star"
"Check on It"

"Wishing on a Star" was covered by American singer Beyoncé in 2004, for the CD version of her live album Live at Wembley.[12] It was also used to promote the fragrance True Star endorsed by American fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger in 2004.[13] An a cappella version of the song was recorded by Beyoncé for a television campaign.[13] An extended play (EP) album was also released in 2004 to promote the fragrance composed of two songs – "Wishing on a Star" and "Naïve". Produced by Beyoncé and Tommy Hilfiger, it was solely available with limited edition purchases of True Star.[14] In 2005, the song was included on the soundtrack of the film Roll Bounce.[15] It was later released for radio airplay as one of three singles from the soundtrack,[16] becoming the second most-added single at urban adult contemporary radio following its release[17] and later peaking at number 28 on the Billboard Adult R&B Airplay chart.[16]

A writer of the website AllMusic described Beyoncé's cover version of Wishing on a Star as "sexy".[12] For the 48th Annual Grammy Awards, Beyoncé's cover was nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.[18] Beyoncé released the song as a digital single on August 17, 2010.

Formats and track listings[edit]

  • True Star – A Private Performance
  1. "Wishing on a Star" – 4:07
  2. "Naïve" – 3:45
  • Digital download
  1. "Wishing on a Star" – 4:08


Chart (2005) Peak
US Adult R&B Airplay (Billboard)[16] 28
US Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles (Billboard)[19] 1

Seal version[edit]

"Wishing on a Star"
Seal - Wishing On A Star.jpg
Single by Seal
from the album Soul 2
ReleasedNovember 8, 2011
Songwriter(s)Billie Rae Calvin
Producer(s)Trevor Horn
Seal singles chronology
"Let's Stay Together"
"Wishing on a Star"

In 2011, "Wishing on a Star" was covered by Nigerian-British singer Seal. It was released as the first UK single taken from his album Soul 2 on November 20, 2011. This interpretation of "Wishing on a Star" was produced by previous collaborator, Trevor Horn.

Seal's version of the song was premiered on Ken Bruce's BBC Radio 2 show on October 13, 2011.[20] The single later peaked on the Radio 2 B-list.[21]

Critical reception[edit]

In her review for Soul 2, Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian expressed, "His voice and interpretive skills are such, though, that most tracks fit him like a glove, to the point where, on Rose Royce's Wishing on a Star, his oak-aged vocal seems a better fit for the remorseful lyric than original singer Gwen Dickey's. He grew up with these 1970s hits, and evidently reveres them, but isn't cowed by them".[22] In his review, Mike Diver of the BBC expressed that "Seal has a voice that can melt icecaps has never been doubted by his detractors – the problems with his material post-Seal (II) went deeper, to a basic songwriting level. Here, freed of the weight of his own emotions, he soars on a sublime Wishing on a Star (which manages to borrow its smoky backing from Sade's Smooth Operator).[23]

Live performances[edit]

Seal performed "Wishing on a Star" on Daybreak on November 25, 2011.[24]

Formats and track listings[edit]

Digital download[25]
  1. "Wishing on a Star" – 4:13

The X Factor UK 2011 contestants version[edit]

"Wishing on a Star"
Single by The X Factor Contestants 2011[26]
ReleasedNovember 27, 2011
Songwriter(s)Billie Rae Calvin
JLS singles chronology
"Take a Chance on Me"
"Wishing on a Star"
"Do You Feel What I Feel?"
One Direction singles chronology
"Gotta Be You"
"Wishing on a Star"
"One Thing"
Amelia Lily singles chronology
"Wishing on a Star"
"You Bring Me Joy"

Wishing on a Star was covered by the contestants of the eighth series of The X Factor, also featuring previous boyband contestants JLS and One Direction. The cover was released on November 27, 2011, via digital download, and released as a physical single the following day. All proceeds from the single went to the children's charity organization Together for Short Lives.[27] The song debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart with first-week sales of 98,932 copies.[28]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Wishing on a Star" – 3:23
  2. "Wishing on a Star (Instrumental)" – 3:23


Chart (2011) Peak
Ireland (IRMA)[29] 1
Scotland (OCC)[30] 1
UK Singles (OCC)[31] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2011) Position
UK Singles (OCC)[32] 132

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom November 27, 2011[33] Digital download
November 28, 2011[34] CD single

Other cover versions[edit]

  • 88.3 ft. Lisa May in 1995, No. 61 UK hit[35]
  • Billie Rae Calvin, who wrote the song, recorded a solo version for Ian Levine's Motorcity Records.
  • The song was covered by Anne Dudley as the theme song for the miniseries The 10th Kingdom in 2000.
  • In 2000, Luka Bloom published an acoustic version of the song on the album Keeper of the Flame
  • In 2004, Paul Weller's version rose to number 11 on the UK charts.[35]
  • In 2005, shadow musician, Catman Cohen, recorded the first male-female duet of the song.[36]
  • In 2018, Tom Grennan released a 'BBC Live Version' as a non-album single.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 501.
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 215. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1992". Archived from the original on July 8, 2009. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  4. ^ a b UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts Archived July 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. everyHit.com (March 16, 2000).
  5. ^ "European Dance Radio" (PDF). Music & Media. August 22, 1992. p. 24. Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  6. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". officialcharts.com. Archived from the original on May 30, 2018. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  7. ^ Jay-Z Jay Z Wishing on a star on YouTube.
  8. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 20, 2021. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  9. ^ "Nach, "Jay-Z"". Archive.is. Archived from the original on October 18, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  10. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  11. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". officialcharts.com. Archived from the original on May 29, 2018. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Live at Wembley". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on June 2, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  13. ^ a b "Hilfiger believes Beyoncé is a True Star". Cosmetics Design. Archived from the original on June 5, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  14. ^ "True Star: A Private Performance: Beyoncé: Music". Archived from the original on May 27, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  15. ^ "Roll Bounce – Original Soundtrack". AllMusic. Archived from the original on April 23, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  16. ^ a b c George, Raphael (November 12, 2005). Soundtrack Has Radio 'Bounce'. Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  17. ^ "Most Added" (PDF). Radio & Records: 40. September 9, 2005. Retrieved March 22, 2014.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Complete list of Grammy Award nominations". USA Today. February 8, 2006. Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  19. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs: Week Ending July 17, 2004". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. March 17, 2011. Archived from the original on April 20, 2021. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
  20. ^ "BBC – Radio 2 – Playlist – Record of the Week". BBC Radio 2. Archived from the original on October 16, 2011.
  21. ^ "BBC – Radio 2 – Playlist". BBC Radio 2. Archived from the original on November 1, 2011.
  22. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (November 19, 2011). "Seal: Soul 2 – review". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  23. ^ "BBC – Music – Review of Seal – Soul 2". BBC. November 16, 2011. Archived from the original on January 14, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  24. ^ "Daybreak". Radio Times. November 25, 2011. Archived from the original on January 14, 2016.
  25. ^ "Wishing on a Star: Seal: Amazon.co.uk: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.co.uk. November 19, 2011.
  26. ^ "One Direction, JLS join 'X Factor' charity single" Archived April 30, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Digital Spy (November 5, 2011).
  27. ^ X Factor hopefuls Wishing on a Star for charity. Evening Standard (October 12, 2011).
  28. ^ Jones, Alan (December 5, 2011). "Official Singles Chart analysis: X-Factor Finalists sell just shy of 100k". Music Week. Archived from the original on December 8, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  29. ^ "Chart Track: Week 48, 2011". Irish Singles Chart.
  30. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  31. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  32. ^ "End Of Year Chart 2011" (PDF). Official Charts Company. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 11, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  33. ^ Wishing On A Star: The X Factor Finalists 2011 feat. JLS & One Direction: Amazon.co.uk: MP3 Downloads. Amazon.co.uk.
  34. ^ Wishing on a Star: Amazon.co.uk: Music Archived January 14, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Amazon.co.uk.
  35. ^ a b "wishing on a star". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on January 29, 2018. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  36. ^ "How I Want to Die: the Catman Chronicles 1". Allmusic.com. Archived from the original on January 14, 2016. Retrieved November 25, 2020.