“I Wanna Be Your Lover” is a song by American recording artist/musician Prince. It was recorded in 1979, and was part of a group of hastily written songs Prince recorded after Warner Bros. asked for a follow-up to For You. For You struggled to sell well and did not enter the Billboard Top 100 (peaking at No. 163), and did not have a pop hit single. Warner Bros. wanted Prince to make one, and he in return recorded “I Wanna Be Your Lover”. The song was also written with R&B songstress Patrice Rushen in mind, on whom Prince had a huge crush.
“I Wanna Be Your Lover” was released as the lead single from his sophomore self-titled album Prince. The song became his first success, gaining heavy radio airplay and chart success; the song scored two weeks at No. 1 on the R&B Singles chart in December 1979, and peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Prince’s first Top 40 pop hit. Prince promoted the song by appearing on Dick Clark’s popular show American Bandstand, where he raised controversy for refusing to speak and using only his hands to communicate.
The song was also Prince’s debut single released in the UK, reaching No.41 on the UK Singles Chart. However, when Prince tried to promote it with shows in London, he was forced to cancel due to poor attendance. It wouldn’t be until Purple Rain (1984) that Prince would break big in Europe. The song additionally reached No. 1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart and No. 2 in New Zealand.
Prince included a sample of this song in the opening of his 1992 hit single “My Name is Prince”.
I Wanna Be Your Lover
My Love is Forever