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According to Michael McDonald, this was based on the original Hebrew name for God (Yahweh), and was originally called "Yahweh Be There." The title was James Ingram's idea: "We were talking about how to say G-d will be there without scaring most of the audience away." It was co-written and produced by Quincy Jones (who does the African style sounds in the song) and Rod Temperton, who later wrote "Sweet Freedom
" for McDonald (the theme from Running Scarred
This won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
Michael McDonald has sung this solo over the years. It was even an in-joke in the film The 40 Year Old Virgin in which one of the characters sees a DVD of the McDonald Soundstage production playing in a store and says, "If I hear Ya Mo B There one more time I'm gonna 'ya mo' burn this place!" The song isn't even on the DVD. (thanks, Sara - Silver Spring, MD, for all above)
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