Billboard #1s for the Week Ending November 3, 1984

This week’s Time Capsule!

Chart Title Act Weeks
Hot 100 Caribbean Queen (No More Love On the Run) Billy Ocean 1
R & B I Feel For You Chaka Khan 1
Country City of New Orleans Willie Nelson 1
Adult Contemporary What About Me? Kenny Rogers, Kim Carnes, and James Ingram 1
Rock I Can’t Hold Back Survivor 2
Album Purple Rain Prince and the Revolution 14

WhatAboutMeTrioThis week sees a chart oddity reach its peak. Duets by successful solo artists are fairly common. Before the age of the hip-hop “featuring” phenomenon, however, singles featuring more than two solo stars were very rare. One example, the debut single from Kenny Rogers’ album What About Me?, notches its first week at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart this week, featuring vocals by Rogers, Kim Carnes, and James Ingram.

All three singers have had hits with other artists. Ingram’s first hits were credited to Quincy Jones featuring James Ingram, and his first chart-topper was the duet with Patti Austin Baby, Come to Me. Carnes had duets with Gene Cotton and Kenny Rogers. Rogers was a duet veteran, hitting the pop Top 20 in hits with Dottie West, Dolly Parton and Sheena Easton as well as Carnes.

Curiously, this trio was the also the third try at recording the song. Rogers originally had Barbra Streisand and Lionel Richie on tap for the project. When that fell through, Olivia Newton-John and Jeffrey Osborne stepped in, but another project sidelined Newton-John.

Fittingly, What About Me? is a song about a love triangle, penned by three writers. Rogers worked with superstar writer and producer David Foster and then-unknown Richard Marx to create the lush heartbreak ballad. Going one better than three, the song also made it onto four charts, reaching #1 on Adult Contemporary, #15 on the Hot 100, #57 on the R&B, and #70 on the Country charts.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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