I’ll Make Love to You
Boyz II Men
Writer(s): Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds (see lyrics here)
Released: July 26, 1994
First Charted: August 5, 1994
Peak: 114 US, 113 CB, 14 RR, 13 AC, 19 RB, 5 UK, 13 CN, 12 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 1.63 US, 0.45 UK, 2.14 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 175.86 video, 157.18 streaming
Awards: (Click on award for more details).
About the Song:
Boyz II Men emerged in 1991 with their debut album Cooleyhighharmony, featuring top-five hits “Motownphilly” and “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.” They followed up the album with “End of the Road,” a cut from the Boomerang soundtrack which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 13 weeks, the most in the history of the chart at that time. They didn’t hold the record for long. Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” logged 14 weeks at the pinnacle in 1992-93.
However, Boyz II Men shot back with “I’ll Make Love to You,” the lead single from their 1994 album II. It matched Houston’s 14 weeks at #1. That record wouldn’t last long either. In 1995-96, Mariah Carey spent 16 weeks at #1 with “One Sweet Day” – a song featuring none other than Boyz II Men. That gave the R&B group the incredible distinction of singing on three of the four biggest #1 songs in the first 40 years of the history of the Billboard Hot 100.
Boyz II Men tapped Babyface, who’d co-written “End of the Road,” as the producer for their second album because of his experience singing hits on his own, writing for others such as Pebbles, Klymaxx, and the Whispers, and producing for Mary J. Blige, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Gill, Whitney Houston, and Madonna. SF
Babyface saw “I’ll Make Love to You” as kind of a sequel to “End of the Road.” He admitted it was hard to try to outdo that song, but that was essentially his goal. SF He said his hope was that “it not be exactly the same, but familiar enough where you could touch some of the same ingredients.” BR However, the group initially thought it sounded too much like “End of the Road” and considered leaving it off the album. According to Babyface, Motown Records’ then-president Jheryl Busby made the decision to release the song despite the protests of the group. SF It won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Single and Favorite Soul/R&B single.
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First posted 3/28/2020; last updated 4/20/2020.