Billboard #1s for the Week Ending April 27, 1985

This week’s Time Capsule!

Chart Title Act Weeks
Hot 100 We Are the World USA for Africa 3
R & B Rhythm of the Night DeBarge 1
Country Girls Night Out The Judds 1
Adult Contemporary We Are the World USA for Africa 1
Rock Don’t You (Forget About Me) Simple Minds 2
Album We Are the World USA for Africa 1

Sierra Exif JPEGThis week sees a family R&B act top that chart with their biggest crossover hit. Based in Grand Rapids, the DeBarge family featured ten musical stars who recorded in an array of chart acts that rivals the Jacksons and the Osmonds. Older brothers Bobby and Tommy were in the 70s band Switch. Five middle siblings formed the light R&B group DeBarge in 1979. Signed to Gordy, they began charting in 1982, with three ballads making the R&B Top 5 and the pop Top 40, including the huge hit Time Will Reveal [#1 R&B for 5 weeks, #18 Pop].

The group recorded the song Rhythm of the Night for the soundtrack to the film The Last Dragon. The upbeat dance single — reminiscent of Lionel Richie’s All Night Long — topped the R&B chart this week. It also peaked on the Hot 100, moving from #5 to #3 in its 11th chart week. After two more singles, however, lead vocalists El and Bunny DeBarge left for solo careers. El managed to match the success of Rhythm of the Night with the song Who’s Johnny [#3 pop, #1 R&B] in 1986. The family act continued through 1989 with limited success. Other siblings, including younger brother Chico, have also had chart hits, as has second-generation singer Kristinia DeBarge, daughter of James.

Rhythm of the Night is also the first #1 for superstar songwriter Diane Warren. Her first chart single was Laura Branigan’s Solitaire; Warren wrote English lyrics to go with a tune written and recorded in French by Martine Clémenceau. After one more minor hit for Branigan, she charted with this smash. From 1987 to 2001, Warren was white hot, writing or co-writing an impressive 31 Top 10 hits for 25 different acts. Nine of those songs topped the Hot 100 for a total of 32 weeks and most of them also hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Toni Braxton’s Un-Break My Heart is Warren’s chart champ with 11 weeks at #1 pop, 14 weeks #1 Adult Contemporary, and four weeks at #2 on the R&B chart.

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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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