The American singer-songwriter known as Evelyn King from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, officially made her first mark on the disco music scene in 1977 at just sixteen years old. The nickname “Champagne” she inherited as a means to make her name sound less mature than how it sounded. Among some of the fans who’ve followed the biography of King, the nickname of Champagne seemed to be somewhat ironic as the songstress was nicknamed “Bubbles” when she was still just a child.
From Humble Beginnings to Stardom
The discovery of King resulted from a producer from Philadelphia International Records when he overheard the young woman’s singing voice while assisting her mother, who was a hired cleaner of the facility. It didn’t take long before King was officially signed to RCA Records and she would trade in a scrubbing brush for a microphone for good. From 1977 until 1985, the musical career of Evelyn “Champagne” King was rock solid, producing one successful album after another were three of them achieved Gold Certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. Those three, in chronological order, are 1977’s “Smooth Talk,” 1979’s “Music Box,” and 1982’s “Get Loose.” These three are among the total of eight albums King recorded and released while still under contract with RCA, which expired after 1985’s “A Long Time Coming (A Change Is Gonna Come).”
Shortly after Evelyn “Champagne” King’s RCA era, the 1989 tragedy of her two-year-old daughter’s passing due to brain damage upon birth, combined with the loss of three other family members due to unrelated medical ailments, played a factor in Evelyn “Champagne” King not recording another studio album for twelve years. After her near-death experience in 2006 from a medical issue of her own, Evelyn “Champagne” King made not only a comeback with her health, but with her music as well. In 2007, she released “Open Book,” which features the hit single “The Dance,” which performed well at the dance clubs, and peaked at number twelve on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.
Top 10 Evelyn “Champagne” King Songs
#10 – Music Box
The second studio album “Music Box” shares the same title as its leading single and the record became certified Gold by the RIAA since its 1979 release. While the single itself did not realize Gold on its own, it did make a decent fourteenth rank on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. On the US Billboard Hot 100, the single ranked at seventy-five and on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart at seventy-eight.
#9 – Shake Down
Straying from the disco music genre, “Shake Down” is a single recorded and released in 1983 by Evelyn “Champagne” King Now venturing into the realm of a punk-funk style similar to Prince, King’s attempt to make her mark sees this song achieve mediocre charting success as it peaked as high as twelfth on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and thirty-fourth on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs.
#8 – Flirt
The leading single “Flirt” comes from the 1988 album of the same name. On the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart, it peaked at third place but failed to show up on the charts elsewhere. The recording of this album is the first Evelyn King would release with EMI-Manhattan, a branch owned by the Universal Music Group’s Capitol Music.
#7 – Your Personal Touch
“Your Personal Touch” comes from Evelyn King’s final album during her time with RCA Records, “A Long Time Coming (A Change Is Gonna Come).” On the music charts, the song peaked as high as fifth with the US Billboard Hot Dance Music Club Play, and ninth on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. On the UK Singles Chart, it peaked at number thirty-seven.
#6 – Hold on to What You’ve Got
The album “Flirt” is released in 1988 with the second of its released singles “Hold on to What You’ve Got” peaked as high as number five on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart and eighth on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The song also charted overseas, namely in New Zealand at number forty-one and in the UK at number forty-seven.
#5 – Betcha She Don’t Love You
From the 1981 album “Get Loose” is the single “Betcha She Don’t Love You,” and managed to peak at number two on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, as well as at forty-ninth on the US Billboard Hot 100. Both the song and the music video play out with the narrator warning her love interest about a woman he’s dating is bound to break his heart.
#4 – I’m In Love
In 1981, the single “I’m In Love” peaked at number one with the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart. This song comes from the album of the same name as its leading track and would become the first of two number one hits coming from Evelyn King stemming from her singing career. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it peaked at number forty.
#3 – Love Come Down
From Evelyn King’s 1982 album “Get Loose,” is the hit single “Love Come Down,” which since earned Gold Certification from the RIAA. On the charts, it peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart as well as the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart. On the UK Singles with the Official Chart Company, Love Come Down peaked at number seven. Globally speaking, Love Come Down had become King’s highest-charting single as it peaked within the top twenty among the nations of France, Ireland, Japan, and New Zealand. In Canada, the song peaked at number forty-four on its top singles chart. As for the infamous 2014 list of Bruce Pollock, Love Come Down was listed with 7,500 other songs as the most important recorded and released between 1944-2000.
#2 – I Don’t Know If It’s Right
Coming from the 1977 debut album “Smooth Talk,” is “I Don’t Know If It’s Right,” which is the second of its two singles that would realize chart success. While it didn’t chart quite as high as the lead single “Shame,” it was still successful enough to become certified Gold by the RIAA. The song ranked as high as sixth with Canada’s Adult Contemporary chart, and seventh on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. On the US Billboard Hot 100, the song peaked at number twenty-three.
#1 – Shame
The debut single “Shame” comes from Evelyn King’s debut album “Smooth Talk,” which was released in 1977. It gave King her first taste of chart success as it reached as high as fifth on RPM Canada’s Dance/Urban chart, seventh on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, eighth on the US Billboard Disco Action chart and US Cash Box Top 100 chart, and with the US Billboard Hot 100, ninth. In addition to achieving chart success within North America, Shame was also globally successful to peak as high as twelfth with Belgium’s Ultratop Top 50 Singles chart, as well as rank within the top forty among the music charts of Netherlands’ Dutch Top 40 and Single Top 40, and the UK Singles Chart. Since the song’s release, Shame has become certified Gold with the RIAA and Music Canada. In 2004, it also became one of the first records to be inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame.