Open main menu

"I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" is a Grammy Award-winning song released by American singer Aretha Franklin and English singer George Michael as a duet in 1987. The song was a number one hit in the United States, the United Kingdom, and several other countries. Billboard listed "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" as Aretha Franklin's all-time biggest Hot 100 single.[1] It also stands as Franklin's biggest hit on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, spending several weeks at number two (thwarted from the number-one position by Starship and Steve Winwood). The song was written by Simon Climie and Dennis Morgan and produced by Narada Michael Walden. Franklin and Michael won a 1987 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)".[2][3]

"I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)"
IKYWWFM.jpg
Single by Aretha Franklin and George Michael
from the album Aretha
ReleasedJanuary 1987
Format
Recorded1986
Genre
Length3:52
LabelArista
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Narada Michael Walden
Aretha Franklin singles chronology
"Jimmy Lee"
(1987)
"I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)"
(1987)
"Rock-a-Lott"
(1987)
George Michael singles chronology
"A Different Corner"
(1986)
"I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)"
(1987)
"I Want Your Sex"
(1987)

RecordingEdit

In 2017, following Michael's death in late 2016, Franklin recalled the following about the recording of the song:

The first time I heard George was with Wham! and I liked it then. He had a very unique sound, very different from anything that was out there. When Clive [Davis, Franklin’s producer and label boss] suggested we get together for “I Knew You Were Waiting,” I was all ready. It reminded me of [working with producer] Jerry Wexler. We’d go in the studio and cut songs. If we were happy with what we recorded, Jerry would say, “Let’s wait until tomorrow. If we feel the same way [then] that we do now, maybe we have a hit.” “I Knew You Were Waiting” had that. Musically, it does not grow old.[4]

PersonnelEdit

Music videoEdit

The official music video for the song was directed by Andy Morahan.[5] It begins with George Michael and two bodyguards entering a dark room. There is a large viewing screen on the wall showing Aretha Franklin preparing for George Michael. Over the course of the video, each of the singers are shown performing the song both in front of the screen and on it. During the second verse, footage from both Franklin's and Michael's earlier careers is shown on the screen. As the second chorus ends, Michael joins Franklin on the stage, and footage of earlier famous duet pairs – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Sonny and Cher, and others – are shown on the viewing screen while Michael and Franklin sing the song's bridge. At the end of the video, Franklin winks at the camera.[6]

Reception and chart performanceEdit

The song was a one-off project that helped Michael achieve his ambition to sing with one of his favorite artists, and it reached number-one on both the UK Singles Chart and Billboard Hot 100. The song was Franklin's first and only UK number-one hit, and only her fourth top 10 achievement in the country since "I Say a Little Prayer", nearly two decades earlier. This was also the last of Franklin's 17 top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as her second number-one hit.

For Michael, it became his third consecutive number-one in the UK since going solo, following 1984's "Careless Whisper" (though the single was actually from the Wham! album Make It Big) and 1986's "A Different Corner". In the US, it was Michael's fourth number-one hit, counting his Wham! days.

Producer Narada Michael Walden had the unique distinction of knocking himself out of the US number-one spot, having knocked "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" out of the top.

The single was the first Michael had recorded as a solo artist that he had not written himself. The co-writer, Simon Climie, was unknown at the time, although he later had success as a performer with Climie Fisher in 1988. On the US Billboard Hot 100, "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" debuted at number 59, the week of February 21, 1987, reaching number one in its ninth week, April 18, 1987, and remaining there for two consecutive weeks.

In his book entitled Dynamic Duets: The Best Pop Collaborations from 1955 to 1999, author Bob Leszczak described "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" as a "joyous and uplifting duet".[7]

Charts and certificationsEdit

Track listingEdit

7"

  1. "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" – 3:52
  2. "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (Instrumental) – 4:00

US 12" maxi-single

  1. "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (Edited remix) – 5:29
  2. "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (Percappela) – 5:14
  3. "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (Album version) – 4:01
  4. "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (Extended remix) – 7:30

Cover versionsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Aretha's biggest Hot 100 hits". Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  2. ^ "A look back at Aretha Franklin's Grammy wins". www.cnn.com. August 16, 2018.
  3. ^ "George Michael". GRAMMY.com. June 4, 2019.
  4. ^ "Remembering George Michael: 3 Friends Look Back On His Legacy". EW.com.
  5. ^ Garcia, Alex S. "mvdbase.com - George Michael - "I knew you were waiting (for me)"". Music Video DataBase. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  6. ^ "Video". www.prosieben.de. July 2, 2013.
  7. ^ Leszczak, Bob (October 7, 2016). "Dynamic Duets: The Best Pop Collaborations from 1955 to 1999". Rowman & Littlefield. p. 45 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ David Kent (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). Sydney: Australian Chart Book. p. 199. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  9. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Aretha Franklin & George Michael – I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Ultratop.be – Aretha Franklin & George Michael – I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 7822." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 8800." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. March 7, 1987. p. 52. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  14. ^ "Singlet 1987-02 helmikuu" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  15. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Aretha Franklin & George Michael – I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  16. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – I Knew You Were Waiting". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  17. ^ "Indice per Interprete: F: Franklin, Aretha" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  18. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 9, 1987" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  19. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Aretha Franklin & George Michael – I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  20. ^ "Charts.nz – Aretha Franklin & George Michael – I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  21. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Aretha Franklin & George Michael – I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)". VG-lista. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  22. ^ Fernando Salaverri (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  23. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Aretha Franklin & George Michael – I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  24. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Aretha Franklin & George Michael – I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  25. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  26. ^ "George Michael Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  27. ^ "George Michael Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  28. ^ "George Michael Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  29. ^ "George Michael Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  30. ^ "Dutch single certifications – Aretha Franklin and George Michael – I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  31. ^ "British single certifications – Aretha Franklin and George Michael – I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  32. ^ Video on YouTube

External linksEdit