Our Top 10 Stephanie Mills Songs list takes a look at a legendary singer, songwriter and actress. She became a household name when she starred as Dorothy in The Wiz. She was in the musical from 1974 – 1979. Her career peaked in the 1980s. She had five number one r&b hit singles during her career. Her hit singles include “Home,” “I Feel Good All Over,” “I’ve Learned to Respect the Power of Love,” “Never Knew Love Like This Before,” “If I Were You Woman, “Something in the Way (You Make Me Feel),” What’cha Gonna Do With My Lovin’,” “(You’re Puttin’) A Rush on Me” as well as other hits. She’s a Grammy award winner. In addition to being a singer, she starred in plays. She appeared in Maggie Flynn (1968), The Wiz (1974 – 1979), Harlem Suite (1988), Stephanie Mills Come Home To Broadway (1989), Children of Eden (1997), Purlie (1998) and Funny Girl (2002).
Stephanie Dorthea Mills was born on March 22, 1957. She got her start in Hollywood by starring in the musical Maggie Flynn when she as 9. She won amateur night on The Apollo when she was 11. She was an opening act for the musical group The Isley Brothers. She signed a record deal in 1973. Unfortunately, the first two albums she recorded weren’t successful.
She released Movin’ in the Right Direction in 1975. It features the singles “Moving in the Right Direction,” “I’ll Never Love Nobody Else but You,” “Sweet Salvation,” “Danny Boy” and “I Knew It Was Love.” For the First Time also came out in 1975. It features the singles “The Way I Feel About You,” “I Took My Strength From You,” “No One Remembers My Name,” “If You Could Learn How to Cry” and “This Empty Place.” Love Has Lifted Me came out in 1976. It features the singles “Love Has Lifted Me,” “Love Is Everywhere,” “I Hope We Don’t Run Out of Music” and “I Don’t Want to Be Reminded.”
What’cha Gonna Do with My Lovin’ was released in 1979. It features the singles “What’cha Gonna Do with My Lovin’,” “Feel the Fire,” “Deeper Inside Your Love,” “Starlight” and “You and I.” Sweet Sensation came out in 1980. The album peaked at number three on the r&b charts and number 16 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Sweet Sensation,” “Never Knew Love Like This Before,” “Wish That You Were Mine” and “Try My Love.” The album sold over 500,000 copies. Stephanie came out in 1981. The album peaked at number three on the r&b charts and number 30 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Two Hearts,” “Night Games,” “I Believe in Love Songs” and “Top of My List.”
Tantalizingly Hot came out in 1982. It features the singles “Last Night,” “Keep Away Girls,” “He Can’t Run From My Love,” “True Love Don’t Come Easy,” “Love Is Always News” and I Can’t Give Back the Love I Feel For You.” She released her eponymous album in 1985. The album peaked at number four on the r&b charts and number 47 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Stand Back,” “I’ve Learned to Respect the Power of Love” and “Rise and Desire.”
If I Were Your Woman came out in 1987. The album peaked at number one on the r&b charts and number 30 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “I Feel Good All Over,” “If I Were Your Woman,” “(You’re Puttin’) A Rush On Me,” “Secret Lady” and “Touch Me Now.” Home came out in 1989. It peaked at number five on the r&b charts and number 82 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Something in the Way (You Make Me Feel)”, “Home,” “Comfort of a Man” and “Good Girl Gone Bad.” She released other albums throughout her career.
Stephanie Mills is an underrated singer. She is very talented and has hit albums. She may not have big pop hits, but she has several r&b hits. Her talents tend to get overshadowed by bigger female artists. She is successful in her own right. She had to compete with Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, Angela Winbush, Anita Baker as well as others. She managed to sustain a successful career. This Top 10 Stephanie Mills Songs list will feature her best songs.
# 10 – Two Hearts ft. Teddy Pendergrass
The first song on our Top 10 Stephanie Mills Songs List is the romantic ballad “Two Hearts” from the Stephanie album. The song has an r&b and soul beat. The alluring song is about a couple expressing their love for each other. They feel they are the only ones for each other. The lyrics are relatable to couples in love. It is the perfect song for romancing the love of your life. The sensual music is great for spending time in the bedroom. The musical arrangement is tender and gentle and is designed for slow dancing.
Stephanie Mills and Teddy Pendergrass are a match made in heaven when it comes to duets. Their voices go together like peanut butter and jelly. They really work well together. Her angelic soprano vocals mixed with his smooth baritone vocals are pure magic. They don’t hold any power notes, but they do vocal runs that are incredible. They even appear to have a vocal battle with each other towards the end of the song. They recorded other songs together but this is one of their best songs. When you think of magical duets partners, it would be them. They didn’t go out of their way to outshine one another. They managed to balance each other out vocally.
# 9 – I’ve Learned to Respect the Power of Love
The next song on our Top 10 Stephanie Mills Song list is “I’ve Learned to Respect the Power of Love.” The song has an r&b and soul beat. This passionate ballad is about her acceptance of love. The song could be about the love she has for a man or it could be about self-love. The meaning of the song is up for interpretation. The song still has a deep message about respecting love. The music is soft and soothing, which was perfect for the subject of the track. Stephanie Mills’ voice is truly amazing on this track. She sings in her normal soprano voice, but she also shows versatility by singing in a deeper pitch. Her lower register works wonders with the music.
She also blesses the audience by holding notes. She even courageously holds a note in falsetto. It could have been a disaster if a less talented singer tried the same move, but she nails it hook, line and sinker. She also does runs that are definitely worth a listen. She does everything she can to make the song work. Her background vocalists also do a terrific job supporting her. There is also another version of the song, which was recorded by singer/songwriter Angela Winbush. Angela Winbush wrote the song for Stephanie Mills and recorded her own version of the song. Both versions of the song are very good, but the winner has to go to Stephanie Mills.
# 8 – Something in The Way (You Make Me Feel)
This chart-topper is from the Home album. It has an r&b and soul beat. This affectionate song is about the way a guy makes her feel. She wants the listeners to know that she has the right man who knows how to make her feel special. She also talks about the things she has gone through in life, but her man knows how to make her feel good. Most women want to feel loved and special the way Stephanie Mills describes in this song. This is something females can play for men so they will know how to make them feel loved.
The song is technically a ballad, but it has enough tempo so you can move around to the infectious music. The keyboard and drums stand out in the music. Stephanie Mills’ voice is out of this world. She starts the song off softly and then she vocally soars. She does a lot of runs throughout the track. She also holds a wonderful note towards the end of the song. If she held the note a little longer, the track would have been even better. The song is already flawless, but a longer note would have given it something extra.
# 7 – (You’re Puttin’) A Rush On Me
This dramatic song is from the If I Were Your Woman album. The song has an r&b, dance and new jack swing beat. This anthemic song is about a woman not wanting a guy to rush her into having sex. Stephanie Mills wants the guy to know that she isn’t easy. She wants to make sure the guy wants to be with her for her and not for sex. The theme of the song is similar to Janet Jackson’s “Let’s Wait A While.” This song has a very powerful message about not wanting to be intimate with someone when you’re not ready. The lyrics of this song are relevant for anyone who doesn’t want to rush into having sex.
This song was written in the 80s but it can still resonate today. This is the only song on our top 10 Stephanie Mills Songs List with a subject like this. The majority of her songs are about love so it was a nice change for her to touch a subject like this. A lot of people feel pressured into having sex so this is one of the best songs to listen to that lets you know that it’s okay to say no if you want. The music is very dance friendly and will have you moving around on the dance floor. Stephanie Mills’ vocals are really good on this track. Her vocals are stacked because she uses a double in the chorus. She sings this song in a slightly lower register. She goes up an octave when she does her runs after the bridge. She holds little notes towards the end of the song that are worth a listen.
# 6 – If I Were Your Woman
This emotional song is from the album of the same name. It has an r&b and soul beat. This is a liberating song about a woman being in a loving relationship, but she wants to be independent. This is an empowering message for women who don’t want to lose who they are while maintaining a relationship. Gladys Knight & The Pips originally performed this song. Stephanie Mills had big shoes to fill by remaking this song since it was a hit for Gladys Knight & The Pips . Since this is a remake, it’s time to ask the question. Was it a wise choice for Stephanie Mills to cover a song that was a hit for another artist?
The answer to that question is yes. It was a wise choice for her to cover this song. Did Stephanie Mills make the song her own? The answer to that question is a resounding yes. Stephanie Mills made this song her own. Gladys Knight & The Pips version has a faster tempo than Stephanie Mills’. The slower pace of the tempo works well for Stephanie Mills’ version. Both ladies sing the song beautifully, but Stephanie Mills wins the vocal challenge. She sings the song in her lower register and then vocally explodes towards the end of the song. She holds power notes that Gladys Knight didn’t hold in her version. Stephanie Mills shows incredible vocal strength when she reaches for her vocal heights unknown.
# 5 – What Cha Gonna Do with My Lovin’
The next song on our Top 10 Stephanie Mills Songs List is “What Cha Gonna Do with My Lovin’ from the Sweet Sensation album. The song has a post disco and soul beat. This contagious song is about her wanting to know what a man would do if he had her love. She is crazy about him, but she wants to know what he would do if he had her. The lyrics are relevant for anyone wondering what a person would do if they had their love. This track is one of Stephanie Mills’ biggest hit singles and it is easy to see why. The music is exceptional. There is no way to sit still through the groovy beat. It has a disco beat, but it doesn’t sound dated.
It will definitely have you out of your seat. The music will hold your attention until the end. It never stops being good. If the music weren’t enough, Stephanie Mills does a tremendous job with her vocals. She makes it possible to sing along with her. Her phrasing is outstanding. She sings every note to perfection. She also sings the song in perfect pitch. She holds superb runs and notes at the end of the song. You will definitely want to keep this song on repeat because you will want to hear it again as soon as it is over. Everything about this song is flawless and it could have easily been number one on our list.
# 4 – Never Knew Love Like This Before
This excellent song is another song from the Sweet Sensation album. It has a post disco and soul beat. This is a celebratory song about the birth of a child. This track is about the birth of Reggie Lucas’ (co-writer of the song) child. The song is like a double entendre because it can have two meanings. It can be about the birth of a child or it could describe how she feels about the man in her life. You can interpret this song either way. The lyrics are touching and a wonderful dedication to the songwriter’s child. The musical arrangement is fire.
This music is guaranteed to get you dancing. We dare you to sit still while listening to this gem. There is no way it can be done. It is great for the club, for a cookout or for just relaxing. The banging drumbeat with blow you away. The guitar is smoking hot. Stephanie Mills sounds like an angel on this track. She has a double throughout the song that is melodic. The chorus will stay in your head all day long. She made it possible for the lead and background vocals to be beyond perfection. This is an indicator on how good of a singer she is. She makes you want to sing both parts of the song.
# 3 – Secret Lady
This cautionary song is from the If I Were Your Woman album. It has an r&b and soul song. This climatic song is about her not wanting to be with a man who isn’t faithful to her. She is tired of being a mistress. She sings the song in parts. In the first half of the song she lets the listener know how she met her lover. Everything was going well for them. In the last half of the song she tells the listener that her lover is cheating on her with another woman. She isn’t going to take being his “secret lady.”
This track has a great message about not wanting to be with a cheating man. Women in similar situations can definitely benefit from listening to this song so they will know what to do when they are treated like a “secret lady.” The lyrics were written decades ago, but they still fit years later. The music is smooth and rhythmic. The keyboard definitely sells the music. Stephanie Mills’ vocals are astonishing. She starts the song off softly and in her lower register. When she gets to the bridge, she gets louder and turns the song into a power ballad by belting. She also holds great notes towards the end of the track.
# 2 – Home
This nostalgic song is from the album of the same name. It has an r&b and soul beat. This sentimental song is a cover song from the Broadway musical The Wiz. This track pays homage to her role in the play. She sang this song years ago in the musical. This is an updated version of that song. She does a truly amazing job in this version. She does a lot of show stopping moments in this track. She belts like there is no tomorrow. Diana Ross also sang this song in the movie version of this track. The Diana Ross version was good, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Stephanie Mills’ version.
Stephanie Mills sings the song in a way that you can forget that it is from a musical. It can easily be a regular song on her album. She makes it impossible to hear anyone else’s version of the song without comparing it to hers. The only version that comes close to being as good as this version is Whitney Houston’s. Stephanie Mills knows how to make any song sound great and she proves that with this song. This could have easily been number one our list, but it lost the coin toss to the one we picked for number one.
# 1 – I Feel Good All Over
The number one song on our Top 10 Stephanie Mills Songs List is “I Feel Good All Over” from the If I Were Your Woman album. It has an r&b and soul beat. This is a sensual song about the way she feels about her man. She says it best when she says he makes her “feel good all over.” The loving lyrics go into detail about the way he treats her. She starts the song by letting the listener know that the man was a stranger to her when she met him. She also tells the listener how good he makes her feel. She is in her wheelhouse with this song because she usually sings songs about love and relationships.
She manages not to make the lyrics sound sappy. It will make you feel happy for her hearing her describe the love she feels for her man. It will make you wish you had a love like that. The music is soft and romantic. The musical arrangement is just what an enchanting song like this needs to set the mood for love. This track is excellent baby-making music. There’s no way we couldn’t end this list without talking about Stephanie Mills and her harmonious voice. Her vocals on this track are breathtaking. She starts the song in her lower register and then vocally explodes. If you are a fan of power ballads, you have a winner here. She is like a vocal volcano that explodes. She holds numerous notes that will definitely please any Stephanie Mills fans. Everything about this song is flawless. This song deserves its spot at number one on our list.
Feature Photo: Kdrayf01, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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