You Gotta Be

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Not to be confused with the song "Love Will Save the Day" by Whitney Houston.
"You Gotta Be"
You gotta be.jpg
Original CD single cover
Single by Des'ree
from the album I Ain't Movin'
Released 28 March 1994
27 February 1995 (re-release)
22 March 1999 (1999 Mix)
Recorded 1993
Length 4:04
Label Sony Soho Square
  • Des'ree
  • Ashley Ingram
Producer(s) Ashley Ingram
Des'ree singles chronology
"You Gotta Be"
"I Ain't Movin'"

"Little Child"

"You Gotta Be"

"Kissing You"

"God Only Knows"

"You Gotta Be"

"Ain't No Sunshine"

"You Gotta Be" is a pop song by British singer Des'ree, written by the singer with the track's producer, Ashley Ingram. It was the third song on Des'ree's second album I Ain't Movin', and the first song on that album's US version.

It was released as a single around the world in 1994 and 1995 and became a top-40 hit in several countries and a top-10 hit in the United States. The song was used in several television advertisements over the following years, and a 1999 remix single became a top-10 hit in Des'ree's native UK and a number one hit in Spain.


Described by Stuart Elliott in The New York Times as "an infectiously sunny tune about the affirmative powers of self-confidence,"[1] "You Gotta Be" according to Des'ree is, like all the songs on its parent album, "about having the inner strength to figure out who you are" with "You Gotta Be" specifically being "born out of me stopping myself and thinking everyday how you gotta be something. You have to be cool and calm in [one] situation, and then you have to be bold and strong in another situation."[2] Des'ree drew inspiration for "You Gotta Be" from the Shakti Gawain book Creative Visualization which had abetted the singer's recovery from a painful romantic break-up; "I've always been blindly optimistic, and that [book] helped me rise from my melancholia," explains Des'ree who it is said "swears by daily affirmations."[3]

"You Gotta Be" was released several times in the United Kingdom: first in March 1994, it was then re-released in February 1995 after it had become a USA top 10 hit, and in 1999 in a remixed version because of its use in the 1999 Ford Focus advertising campaign and following the success of Des'ree's previous singles "Life" and "Kissing You". The latter release of "You Gotta Be" charted in its highest position out of all three releases in the United Kingdom, peaking at No. 10. This version, entitled the "1999 Mix" was added to a re-issue of her third studio album Supernatural. The original release first charted in September 1994 in the United States and slowly climbed the charts peaking at No. 5 in March 1995, and staying 44 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. The remixed version of the song was a number one hit in Spain for two weeks, in February/March 1999.

Media appearances[edit]

In April 1994, it was used by Sky Movies, for their summer preview commercial. Also, in March 1995, ABC began airing an ad campaign for Good Morning America, aimed at attracting a younger demographic and also boosting male viewership, in which Des'ree's "You Gotta Be" played under scenes of "Americans immersed in morning rituals: commuters rushing, a young man shaving, school-bound children" intercut with shots of the Good Morning America hosts.[1]

In Italy, the song became popular after it was chosen as the soundtrack of some TV adverts, including those of Breil in 1996 and Ford Focus of 2000.[4][5] In Australia, circa early 2000s, this song was used in a Westpac bank advert.

This song was featured in the films The Next Karate Kid and The Object of My Affection. It was also used in a special promo for PBS Kids shown every Martin Luther King, Jr. Day between 1999 and 2006.

A reworked version of this song was used in the Big Sing 2008. The Big Sing is to raise money for Childline by hundreds of schools singing this song at the same time across Ireland, England and Wales. If the number of children participating is big enough, the Big Sing will make it into the Guinness Book of World Records 2010.[6][needs update]

Music video[edit]

The music video is filmed in black and white. In 1995, it was nominated in the category of "Best Female Video" at that year's MTV Video Music Awards, but lost to Madonna's "Take a Bow".

Other versions[edit]

"You Gotta Be" has been covered by:

  • Ethel Ennis on her 1998 album If Women Ruled the World.
  • Natalie Cole on her 2006 album Leavin'.
  • British/Japanese singer MiChi on her 2008 album MiChi Madness.
  • Japanese emo band Nature Living on their album 2008 album After All.
  • Patti Austin as her contribution to the 2003 album Church – Songs of Soul and Inspiration, also included on her 2011 album Sound Advice.
  • Ronan Parke on his 2011 debut album Ronan Parke.
  • DJ Okawari featuring vocals by Amadori, on his 2009 album Mirror.

Track listings[edit]

1994 release
CD maxi – UK
  1. "You Gotta Be" – 4:04
  2. "Sun of 79" – 5:14
  3. "You Gotta Be" (Frankie Foncett mix) – 5:18
  4. "You Gotta Be" (after hours mix) – 4:30
CD maxi – UK
  1. "You Gotta Be"
  2. "You Gotta Be" (Blacksmith 7" radio edit)
  3. "You Gotta Be" (Blacksmith 12" mix)
  4. "Warm Hands, Cold Heart"
12" maxi – UK
  1. "You Gotta Be" (Frankie Foncett mix)
  2. "You Gotta Be" (the max)
  3. "You Gotta Be" (after hours mix)
  4. "You Gotta Be" (hourglass mix)
  5. "You Gotta Be" (love will save the day mix)
1995 release
CD single 1 – Europe
  1. "You Gotta Be" – 4:01
  2. "Warm Hands, Cold Heart" – 4:35
CD single 2 – Europe
  1. "You Gotta Be" – 4:01
  2. "Warm Hands, Cold Heart" – 4:35
  3. "Sun of 79" – 5:15
CD maxi – Europe
  1. "You Gotta Be" – 4:03
  2. "You Gotta Be" (Blacksmith mix) – 5:29
  3. "You Gotta Be" (Frankie Foncett mix) – 5:18
  4. "You Gotta Be" (love will save the day) – 4:03
12" maxi – UK
  1. "You Gotta Be" (Blacksmith mix)
  2. "You Gotta Be" (Frankie Foncett mix)
  3. "You Gotta Be" (love will save the day)
CD single – Promo – France
  1. "You Gotta Be" (love will save the day) – 4:04
1999 Mix
CD single 1 – UK
  1. "You Gotta Be" (1999 Mix) – 3:57
  2. "You Gotta Be" (Tin Tin Out Remix)
  3. "Soul Paradise"
CD single 2 – UK
  1. "You Gotta Be" (1999 Mix) – 3:57
  2. "Life" – 3:36
  3. "You Gotta Be" – 4:06
Cassette – UK
  1. "You Gotta Be" (1999 Mix) – 3:57
  2. "You Gotta Be" – 4:06



  1. ^ a b Elliott, Stuart (6 March 1995). "Pop music takes center stage in a 'Good Morning America' campaign to attract younger viewers". New York Times. Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  2. ^ Billboard vol 107 No. 4 (28 January 1995) p.12
  3. ^ Romero, Michele (17 February 1995). "In Goddess, a Diva: Daily Affirmations with Des'ree". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  4. ^ Habib, Elia (2002). Muz hit.tubes (in French). Alinéa Bis. p. 431. ISBN 2-9518832-0-X. 
  5. ^ King, Alex P. (2004). Hit-parade – 20 ans de tubes (in French). Paris: Pascal. p. 347. ISBN 2-35019-009-9. 
  6. ^ Big Sing 2008
  7. ^ " – Des'ree – You Gotta Be". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ a b " – Des'ree Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  9. ^ (Retrieved 9 January 2012)
  10. ^ " – Des'ree – You Gotta Be" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  11. ^ " – Des'ree – You Gotta Be". Top 40 Singles.
  12. ^ a b c "Des'ree: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  13. ^ "Des'ree – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Des'ree.
  14. ^ "Des'ree – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Des'ree.
  15. ^ "Des'ree – Chart history" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Des'ree.
  16. ^ "Des'ree – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Des'ree.
  17. ^ "Des'ree – Chart history" Billboard Rhythmic Songs for Des'ree.
  18. ^ " – Des'ree – You Gotta Be" (in French). Les classement single.
  19. ^ " – Des'ree – You Gotta Be (1999 Mix)". 
  20. ^ " – Des'ree – You Gotta Be (1999 Mix)" Canciones Top 50.
  21. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles 1994". (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 19 November 2016. 
  22. ^ 1995 French Singles Chart Archived 7 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved 30 January 2009)
  23. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1995". Retrieved 27 August 2010. 

External links[edit]