I Wanna Be Rich – Calloway | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#2) & R&B (#5); 1990

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

By the time Reginald and Vincent Calloway of Cincinnati, Ohio reached their teens, they were accomplished singers and multi-instrumentalists. Ultimately, they pooled their talents in a jazz-funk band called Sunchild that played with the legendary Sonny Stitt.

In 1976, they formed Midnight Star with some fellow students from Kentucky State University. The group muddled around the lower reaches of the R&B chart for a few years before hitting paydirt with hits such as Freak-A-Zoid (#2 R&B; 1983), Wet My Whistle (#8 R&B; 1983), and Operator (#1 R&B; 1985).

The Calloway brothers took on side projects, too, most notably for Levert (Casanova – #1 R&B, #5 pop; 1987) and Gladys Knight (Love Overboard – #1 R&B, #13 pop; 1988).

1988 saw them leave Midnight Star and reappear a year later with I Wanna Be Rich, penned by the Calloways with Midnight Star members Melvin Gentry and Belinda Lipscomb. The uplifting tune became Calloway’s only gold single in 1990.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Calloway

Lyrics Written by:

  • Reggie Calloway
  • Vincent Calloway
  • Melvin Gentry
  • Belinda Lipscomb