Our Top 10 Karyn White Songs list looks at a popular r&b singer from the 80s and 90s. She arrived on the scene when singers like Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Vanessa Williams, Pebbles, Jody Watley, Anita Baker, Paula Abdul, Patti Labelle, Tina Turner, Vesta, Phyllis Hyman, Shanice Wilson as well as other female artists were at the height of their fame. She is probably best known for her songs “Superwoman,” “The Way You Love Me,” “Secret Rendezvous” and “Romantic.” These songs helped make her a household name. Karyn White was one of the first female singers to have her first three solos reach number one on the charts. She has one of the most impressive voices in music. Some of her other hits include “Love Saw It,” “The Way I Feel About You,” “Can I Stay With You” as well as several others.
Karyn LayVonne White was born October 14, 1965. She began her career by singing in the church choir. When she was 18 she wrote a song called “Automatic Passion” that singer Stephanie Mills recorded. In addition to writing, she sang back up for different artists. She sang backup for The Commodores, Ray Parker Jr, Sheena Easton, Bobby Brown, Shanice Wilson, Johnny Gill, Julio Iglesias as well as others. She also sang backup for composer and record producer Jeff Lorber. She sang backup on the dance hit “The Facts of Love” and that helped propel her career.
Karyn White released her eponymous album in 1988. The album peaked at number one on the r&b charts and number 19 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album features the singles “The Way You Love Me,” “Superwoman,” “Love Saw It,’ “Secret Rendezvous” and “Slow Down.” The album sold over two million copies worldwide. Ritual of Love was released in 1991. The album peaked at number seven on the r&b charts and number 53 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Romantic,” “The Way I Feel About You,” “Walkin’ the Dog” and “Do Unto Me.” The album sold over 500,000 copies.
Make Him Do Right came out in 1994. The album peaked at number 22 on the r&b charts and 99 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album features the singles “Hungah,” “Can I Stay With You” and “I’d Rather Be Alone.” Carpe Diem came out in 2012. The album features the singles “Sister Sister” and “True Colors.”
Karyn White had an amazing run during the height of her fame. The world was her oyster when “Superwoman” was released. Her road to success wasn’t easy because she had to compete Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Anita Baker, Jody Watley, Pebbles,Vanessa Williams, and Cherrelle as well as others. She was able to make her mark in music. Our list gives us a chance to give her the flowers she deserves. Our Top 10 Karyn White Songs list will feature her best songs.
# 10 – Hungah
The first song on our Top 10 Karyn White Songs list is “Hungah” from the album Make Him Do Right. The song has an r&b sound. The lustful song is about a woman who wants a man. She hungers for him. He is just what she needs to quench her appetite. She craves for the man. She fantasizes about the guy because he’s not her man yet. She yearns to have him with her every night. This is the perfect song to use if you want to seduce the man that you are fantasizing about. It will give you the courage to come on to the man you desire.
The song will give you Janet Jackson vibes. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis helped write this song so they patterned this song after Janet Jackson’s style. If you pay attention to the melody, it’s similar to “That’s the Way Love Goes” by Janet Jackson. In fact, this is the type of song Janet Jackson would sing. The song has a similar snare drum beat that Janet Jackson used in “That’s the Way Love Goes.” It sounds like a track that didn’t make the Janet album. It worked that the song landed in Karyn White’s lap. She proved she could handle a seductive track like this one. She sounds sexy on the track. She was able to sell the song with her vocals.
# 9 – I’d Rather Be Alone
The next song on our Top 10 Karyn White Songs list is “I’d Rather Be Alone” from the album Make Him Do Right The song has an r&b beat. The independent song is about a woman who had enough of her man hurting her. She decides she doesn’t want to be with him anymore. She can’t keep putting up with his drama and she’s ready to go. The woman realizes that she’s better off alone instead of in a relationship, and unhappy. There are quite a few people who would rather be alone and happy than in a relationship and miserable. If you have been in that situation, then you will be cheering while she’s singing. This song is a little sister to “Superwoman.” The track has the same independent vibe as this song.
Karyn White is at home singing songs that will get you in your feelings. She sings anthems and this one is no exception. This song will have you singing along with her as she recites the powerful lyrics. She is determined not to look like a fool because she’s choosing herself. The song will have you rooting for her character in the song to leave the unaffectionate man. This song might not have received the same amount of attention as “Superwoman,” but it’s just as powerful. Karyn White’s beautiful voice was perfect for the track. She starts the song off as if she’s telling a simple story and then she lets loose. Her voice will captivate you throughout the song.
# 8 – The Way I Feel About You
The loving song is from the album “Ritual of Love.” The song has an r&b beat. The affectionate song is about the way she feels about her man. She loves her man and she wants the world to know it. She believes he’s the one who will make her happy. He makes the storms in her life go away. She is proud to have him in her life. She believes she will have sunny days now that he’s in her life. She’s satisfied to have him in her life. She is happy being in his arms. This is a song that will make you believe in love.
This song is a departure from our previous entry. She was singing about the end of a relationship in “I’d Rather Be Alone,” but she is happy on this track. The song has a bouncy beat that matches the happiness she feels in the song. The song has Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis’ stamp on it. The song sounds similar to Janet Jackson’s song “State of the World.” This track sounds like it could have been on the Rhythm Nation 1814 album. Karyn White is singing the song in a similar way to Janet Jackson. She sings in her lower register when she sings the verses. She sounds similar to the way Janet Jackson sings when sings in her lower register. It’s easy to hear that Karyn White is happy on this song. You can practically hear her smiling on this song.
# 7 – Can I Stay With You
The pleading song is from the album Make Him Do Right. The song has an r&b beat. The hypnotic song is about a woman who wants to stay with a man for the rest of her life. She didn’t realize he would feel so good. She didn’t want to let him go. She loves him and wants to be with him for life. He makes her feel like a special person. She compares him to other men. She talks about how good he makes her feel in and out of the bedroom. He makes her feel weak in her knees. He knows what to do to make her feel pleased. He takes her to ecstasy.
“Can I Stay With You” reunites Karyn White with Babyface. This song has the Babyface stamp all over it. The melody is similar to “Always in My Heart” by Tevin Campbell. Babyface wrote the song for Tevin Campbell. Babyface worked with Karyn White on her debut album. He helped pen some of her biggest hits so it made sense for them to work together on another album. They made lightning strike twice on this song. The song is beautiful and sensual. The music is infectious and will hold your attention until the track ends. Karyn White’s vocals are strong on this song. She starts the song softly and soars once she hits the bridge. She has such a pretty tone to her voice that she makes every song sound like bedroom music. She proves that she could compete the power divas that she was in direct competition with during the height of her fame.
# 6 – Love Saw It ft. Babyface
The flirty song is from her eponymous album. The song has an r&b sound. The romantic song is about a couple who were cynics when it came to love. They saw each other and changed their minds. She talks about how she thought love was silly. She didn’t think love was for her. He thought love was a mystery. He didn’t think he knew what love was about at all. He spotted her and he knew that he was set for life. They continue to talk about falling in love with each other. She expresses how he makes her feel like a child on Christmas day. She never thought anyone would make her feel like that.
This is an excellent song to play for your lover. This is the type of jam that you should listen to when you are alone with your lover. There aren’t too many people who could keep up with Babyface. Karyn White proved that she was one of the few people who could match with him. He wasn’t doing too many duets with females when this song was released. She was new to music, but she was able to keep up with him as if she were in the business for years. She chose to sing the song in her lower tone. She sings in a higher key when she sings the chorus. Babyface also sings the song in a lower tone from his normal voice. He stays in his lower key and that was a great balance for the two singers. They worked their magic on this track. They gave it their all and we’re here for it. The listeners felt the same way because the song peaked at number six on the r&b charts.
# 5 – Do Unto Me
The next song on our Top 10 Karyn White Songs list is “Do Unto Me” from the Ritual of Love album. The song has an r&b beat. The cautionary song is about a woman who wants her man to be fair with her. She wants him to treat her the way she treats him. If you are familiar with the meaning of the title, you know what she’s talking about in the song. As most of Karyn White’s fans know, “Superwoman” is one of her signature songs. With that said, she created another version of that song for this album. She talks about the way he treats her in the relationship. She’s asking for equality in the relationship. She talks about the things he expects her to do even though he doesn’t do the same thing. She wonders why he doesn’t have to do the same thing he expects from her. If you are in a one-sided relationship, you definitely know what she means.
The music is breathtaking on this track. The keyboard dominates the track. You can get lost listening to the music. The instrumentation is beautifully arranged. The musicians make sure not to drown Karyn White out with the music so we get the chance to focus on her vocals. It’s time to talk about Karyn White’s vocals. She sounds sultry and seductive on this song. She could have been singing a love song instead of a bitter jam. She takes you to church as she chants the chorus towards the end. Once she gets to that point in the song, you are completely hooked and captivated by her voice. She turns the song into a power ballad. This is an underrated song, and it deserves its flowers. This is the type of track that you will be able to listen to repeatedly and not get tired of hearing it.
# 4 – The Way You Love Me
The devoted song is from her eponymous album. The song has an r&b sound. The adoring song is about a woman who finally has the love of her life. She met a man who treats her right and she wants the world to know it. She used to dream about finding Mr. Right and her dream came true. She was unlucky in love and now that she has it, she wants everyone to know about it. She loves the way he loves her. He is her true love. She talks about how it feels to fall in love with the perfect person. It’s a great feeling to be with someone who makes you happy.
This is the track that helped introduce the world to Karyn White. The song has the LaFace and Darryl Simmons signature sound. It’s a mix of r&b and pop music. The song has elements of their other hits throughout the beat. You might recognize some of the songs they’ve written and produced when you listen to this track. The melody is similar to The Whispers’ “Rock Steady.” The trio knew what to do to cater to her vocals. She has a voice that’s tailor made for ballads, but she can pull off midtempo and up-tempo tracks too. She knows how to make you think and how to get the party started. This track can still get the party started. She sounds like she was in the business for years. She is a little hard to understand when she sings some of the song, but that doesn’t hurt the song.
# 3 – Secret Rendezvous
The infectious song is from her eponymous album. The song has an r&b and New Jack Swing sound. The bouncy song is about a woman involved in a “secret rendezvous” with someone. The song is set up as if she’s having an affair. If you go by the title, you would think she was having an affair with someone. She’s talking about spending time with the man she loves. She let him know that he will be hers. She wants him to lock the door so they can get together. If you plan to seduce your man, you can put this track on and do your thing. You can let him know that he’s going to be all yours.
Karyn White arrived on the music scene when Janet Jackson was at the height of her fame. It seemed like labels wanted female singers to pattern themselves after her. If you watch the video of this song, you can tell she’s clearly channeling her inner Janet Jackson. This sounds like a song that could have appeared on Control or Rhythm Nation 1814. She also seems like she’s channeling JJody Watley. This sounds like a track Jody Watley would have recorded. “Secret Rendezvous” will make you get up and dance. The beat is infectious, and it will be impossible to sit still listening to it. Karyn White got the chance to showcase her versatility on this song. She rapped on this song. She has the type of voice that works for ballads, but she proved that she had rhyming skills. She shouldn’t switch to a rapper, but she didn’t embarrass herself. She sounds fantastic on this track. LaFace and Darryl Simmons brought out the best of her on this song.
# 2 – Romantic
The sexy song is from the Ritual of Love album. The song has a New Jack Swing beat. The sensual song is about a woman who wants to have a romantic night with her man. She wants to spend the night with the man of her dreams. She wants to turn the lights down and get “romantic” with her man. She tells her man that she’s burning with desire for him. She’s thinking about love when she gets home. If you read our Top 10 Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis Songs list, you know this song made an appearance on it. This is one of her biggest hits so we wanted to include it on her songs list too.
The song has an exciting groove. It will inspire you to get up and dance. You can also use this when you are getting “romantic” with your lover. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis did a phenomenal job with the production on this track. They most likely had Janet Jackson in mind for this track, but Karyn White proved she was the one for the job. Her tone is absolutely flawless on this song. She shows that she can do more than sing ballads. She sings this song effortlessly. She keeps up with the beat changes. She patterns her vocals according to the beat changes in the song. She will go up and down depending on the way the music changes. This song could have been number one on our list, but it came to a coin toss.
# 1 – Superwoman
The number one song on our list of Top 10 Karyn White Songs list is “Superwoman” from her eponymous album. The song has an r&b beat. The anthemic song is about a woman who refuses to be her man’s “superwoman.” She won’t allow him to keep disappointing her and she’s not going to take it anymore. She refuses to let him treat her like she didn’t matter. She won’t allow him to let her down and move on like it didn’t matter. This song is the epitome of a “you go-girl” song. Women everywhere were cheering her on as she tells her man what she won’t do for him anymore. If you have a man who takes you for granted, this is the song for you.
We couldn’t finish our list without including the song that is linked to Karyn White. If you are a fan of the singer, you know this song. If you love r&b music from the 80s and 90s, then you know this song. This is the type of song that will stay on your playlist for life. The song was recorded in the 80s and still holds up today. This is probably one of the biggest anthems from the late 80s. She had women saying they weren’t going to be “superwomen.” The song is about a woman declaring independence, but the track was written by three men. LaFace and Darryl Simmons wrote this classic jam.
She was a new singer at the time this song was recorded. They took a chance on her and gave her this song to sing. She tore this song up. This song could have been given to Whitney Houston or Anita Baker, but she was given the grand prize. We can’t picture anyone else singing this song. She made this song hers. This song will forever be linked to Karyn White. We can’t express enough how her vocals were on this song. She did everything right on this song. She sounds amazing. She will hook you as soon as she starts singing. You can easily forget this song is on her debut album because she sings it like a legend.
Feature Photo: Karyn White, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Top 10 Karyn White Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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