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Stephanie Dorthea Mills (born March 22, 1957) is a legendary American R&B, soul and gospel singer, and a former Broadway star.
Mills’ career took a rise when she portrayed Dorothy in an African American adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz entitled The Wiz, where she began dating Michael Jackson. Filled with a more urban style of music and scenery, The Wiz made Mills a star particularly because of her stellar performance of the song “Home”. It would become her signature tune for years, and would be covered later by Diana Ross for the big-screen adaptation three years later and by Whitney Houston for her dramatic musical performance debut on TV in the early 1980s. “Mills was the teen-age star of the Broadway stage production of The Wiz. When she sang “Home”, the musical’s answer to “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, her theatrical delivery thrilled audiences and marked her as a talent to watch. One of her most appreciative fans was Michael. By his own count he saw The Wiz eight times, in part because of the up-coming film version but also because he and Stephanie had become friends.
Musical success was elusive until 1979, when signed under the 20th Century Fox Records record label, Mills found her breakthrough in disco music, recording songs such as “Put Your Body In It”, “You Can Get Over”, and “What Cha’ Gonna Do With My Lovin’”. The resulting album, What Cha’ Gonna Do with My Lovin’, was Mills’ first gold record.
She quickly followed the success with 1980′s Sweet Sensation, which featured Mills’ biggest hit to date, the Reggie Lucas-produced “Never Knew Love Like This Before”. The single became a #12 R&B and #6 Pop hit in 1980, as well as reaching #4 in the UK Singles Chart. 1981′s Stephanie featured a top hit for her and Teddy Pendergrass entitled “Two Hearts”, while her 1983 album,Merciless, featured her hit cover of Prince’s “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore?”, as well as the #3 dance chart hit “Pilot Error”, which was her first dance hit in the U.S. In 1984, Mills had her third UK hit with “The Medicine Song” (#29), which also reached #1 on the U.S. dance chart.
Success for Mills had peaked until 1986, when her version of the Angela Winbush-penned “I Have Learned to Respect the Power of Love”, hit #1 on the R&B singles chart. Mills truly returned, however, with her next release, If I Were Your Woman in 1987 under MCA Records, which she was now signed. The hits from the album include the title track, originally a hit for Gladys Knight & the Pips in 1971; a three-week #1 R&B hit, “I Feel Good All Over” and “You’re Puttin’ a Rush on Me”, to name a few of the songs released. The album reached platinum status. That same year, she appeared in the NBC TV special, Motown: Merry Christmas along with other musical artists and actors, performing the song, “Christmas Everyday”, which was written by actor/comedian Redd Foxx.
Mills’ success continued with 1989′s Home album. The hits from that album include “The Comfort of a Man”, the title track, a cover of her old standard from The Wiz and another song penned by Winbush titled “Something in the Way You Make Me Feel”. It became another platinum record for Mills
Sit back, relax and enjoy the musical stylings of Stephanie Mills.
Feel The Fire
I’ve Learned to Respect the Power of Love
I Feel Good All Over
Never Knew Love Like This Before
Something in the Way You Make Me Feel