Top 10 Evelyn “Champagne” King Songs

Evelyn "Champagne" King Songs

Photo: Randy Miramontez / Shutterstock.com

Our Top 10 Evelyn “Champagne” King songs list presents the songs of a singer born on July 1, 1960, in The Bronx, New York City, but she was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Coming from a family with musical inclinations, her father was a backup singer for various bands, Evelyn grew up around music, which shaped her interests and career aspirations from a young age.

King got her initial break in a very unconventional way. While working as a cleaner in a recording studio, she was discovered by Theodore T. Life, a producer. He overheard her singing in a bathroom and immediately knew she had a special gift. This chance discovery led her to sign a record deal, and it wasn’t long before she was making a name for herself in the music industry.

Her debut album “Smooth Talk” was released in 1977 and featured the hit single “Shame,” which became a Top 10 Pop and R&B hit, went gold, and is now considered one of her signature songs. “Shame” also earned her a Grammy nomination.

The 1980s saw a transition in her style, with albums like “I’m in Love” (1981) and “Get Loose” (1982). The latter album featured another one of her signature songs, “Love Come Down.” Her music now contained elements of funk and electro-pop, aligning her with the musical trends of the era.

Throughout the ’90s and into the 2000s, Evelyn continued to record and tour. While her commercial success waned compared to her ’70s and ’80s heyday, she remained a respected figure in the industry, revered for her vocal prowess and her contributions to dance music and R&B. Evelyn “Champagne” King’s influence can be felt in the worlds of R&B, disco, and dance music. She has won numerous awards throughout her career and has been nominated for multiple Grammys. Her songs have been sampled by a new generation of artists, ensuring that her musical legacy continues to be celebrated.

Top 10 Evelyn “Champagne” King Songs

#10 – Music Box

The song “Music Box” by Evelyn “Champagne” King is a lesser-known cut that showcases King’s vocal dexterity and her affinity for groove-driven music. It was released on her debut album “Smooth Talk” in 1977, which also featured her breakthrough hit “Shame.”

“Music Box” is a soulful R&B track with elements of disco, an instrumental landscape that was characteristic of the late ’70s era. Even though us rockers did not think too highly of disco at the time, it does bring back memories.  The song opens with an inviting melody, immediately setting a danceable and uplifting tone. The lyrics are filled with romantic undertones and metaphors that compare the feeling of being in love to a music box that plays a comforting, enchanting tune.

#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” was released in 1988. 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 peaking as high as twelfth on Belgium’s Ultratop Top 50 Singles chart, as well as ranking 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.

Top 10 Evelyn “Champagne” King Songs  article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021

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