What Is Love – Haddaway | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#11); 1993

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Nestor Alexander Haddaway was born in Tobago, West Indies, and grew up in the U.S. where he graduated college with a degree in marketing. He eventually landed in Germany as a professional football player for the Cologne Crocodiles. In addition, Haddaway managed his music career on the way up. “Up” in this case involved forming Elegato with keyboardist Alex Trime, then going solo under the guidance of Dee Dee Halligan and Junior Torello, who headed up the Coconut/Logic record label. For Haddaway, Halligan and Torello retooled a ballad they’d penned – What Is Love – into a driving dance production. Love heated up the British chart in the summer of ’93 where it peaked at #2, then “crossed over the pond” and climbed the stateside record list. Haddaway’s continued success in Europe made him one of the year’s top solo artists while here Love became a fixture on Saturday Night Live in the recurring Roxbury disco guys comedy spot.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Dieter Lünstedt
  • Karin Hartmann-Eisenblätter

Lyrics Written by:

  • Dee Dee Halligan
  • Junior Torello