Sweet Thing – Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#5) & R&B (#1 for 2 weeks); 1976

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Guitarist Tony Maiden wasn’t all that thrilled about being in another group situation with the inevitable upsets and break-ups. Still, the offer from high school friend Andre Fisher to join Rufus sounded interesting.

Tony hung out and played with Rufus for a few weeks and ultimately decided to give this new gig a try. Tony also wrote songs. One day, while the Rufus gang was hard at work laying down one of Tony’s tracks, singer Chaka Khan quickly came up with some lyrics.

Thirty minutes later, Chaka was behind the microphone and Sweet Thing was down on tape. For Rufus it was their second R&B #1 (preceded by You Got The Love in 1974) and their highest charting Hot 100 single to date.

Its success coupled and that of Dance Wit Me made Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan the band’s third straight gold album. Sweet Thing was also good to Mary J. Blige (#11 R&B; 1993) and Boney James (#2 Contemporary Jazz Album; 1997).

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:

  • Rufus

Lyrics Written by:

  • Chaka Khan
  • Tony Maiden