I'm Coming Out

Album: diana (1980)
Charted: 13 5
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Songfacts®:

  • Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards wrote this song and produced it. They were the leaders of the '70s disco band Chic, and brought that disco sound to Ross for this album. Rodgers got the idea for "I'm Coming Out" when he went to a gay club in New York City. He went to the bathroom, and while he was standing at the urinal, he saw three men who looked like Diana Ross. "Coming Out" means coming out of the closet and being openly gay.
  • Nile Rodgers recalled to the Mail on Sunday's Event magazine in 2013 that a DJ warned Diana Ross that this song was going to ruin her career because people would think she was gay. "It was the only time I've ever lied to an artist," he recalled. "I said: 'What are you talking about? That's the craziest thing I've ever heard in my life!' We had written it because of her gay following, but I said she should use it as her 'coming-out' song – to start her gigs – and she has ever since."
  • Diana Ross performed this song in front of President Bill Clinton and various world leaders at the opening ceremony of the 1994 World Cup held at Soldier Field in Chicago. It didn't go as planned: Ross was set up with a short penalty kick, which was set to split open the goal for her to run through while she sang this song. She missed the kick.
  • In 1997, Puff Daddy sampled this on the track "Mo Money Mo Problems," which became a #1 hit in the US.
  • R&B songstress Keyshia Cole and Australian rapper Iggy Azalea teamed up to cover the song for the soundtrack of the 2014 Cameron Diaz movie, The Other Woman.

Comments: 6

  • George T Howell from 94133nile talked about how he wrote this song on one of those artist in studio PBS shows. his words, Diana Ross was ready to come out of a long performance hiatus, go on the road, and was looking for a hit to drive her tour. forget who, but someone told nile Diana Ross wanted him to right a song for her. nile says, in a west village gay bar,, he's waiting to take a piss and heard all these guys talking about... " did you hear who just came out? nile says, I had that song immediately, I new it would be perfect for Diana Ross, and I new before I wrote it, it would be an anthem for the gay community, who were pretty big fans of Diana anyway. the fact she was gonna make a comeback and sing to the emerging openly gay community was huge. the gay community identified with her " coming out" an assumed resurrection from heroin addiction and utter career death. this song was widely misunderstood. it was a self profession of Diane's ability to rise from the ashes, straight people vibed on the simple positive message, like, here I am, I'm ready to make s--t happen... almost nobody knew this songs meaning except the gay community... that was good. it was something every one responded to.. to this day,, if you ask most people what this song is about, they won't know. dig what I said? check out the nile rodgers artists in studio thing on YouTube, he talks about how he wrote le freak, freak out! he lived a block away from studio 54 ... anyway... check him out....
  • Robert from UsaThe song has a trombone solo by Meco Monardo.
    He learned of a dispute about the final mix. "Weeks went by when I heard through the grapevine that Diana Ross was incredibly unhappy with the album. She thought Nile and Bernard made her sound like Chic. She took the master tapes from Power Station and went to Motown in Detroit to remix the record. When it came out, her early interviews were very unenthusiastic about it and Nile and Bernard, her producers. Well, as we all know, this turned out to be her biggest-selling solo album ever. "Upside Down" was a monster Number-One single and "I'm Coming Out" was a top-ten single.
    It turned out that when the engineer at Motown saw the track listings of Meco 1–2–3–4, he just assumed that Track 1 was THE track and never listened to the others, and so that's what is on the record. So, I'm extremely proud to say that my solo is the only jazz trombone solo of a top-ten pop hit in the last 50 years! But – it wasn't my best – that, unfortunately lies in the vaults at Motown."

    The dispute with Ross led to none of the musicians being credited on the album cover.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 31st 1980, "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #88; and on November 9th, 1980 it peaked at #5 {for 3 weeks} and spent almost a half-year on the Top 100 {23 weeks}...
    It reached #6 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    As already stated it was her first Top 10 record that hadn't peaked at #1; those #1s were "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" for 3 weeks in 1970, "Touch Me in the Morning" for 1 week in 1973, "Do You Know Where You're Going To" for 1 week in 1976, "Love Hangover" for 2 weeks in 1976, and "Upside Down" for 4 weeks in 1980...
    And in the following year of 1981 she would have another #1; a duet with Lionel Richie, "Endless Love", for nine weeks...
    Diana Ernestine Earle Ross will celebrate her 71st birthday come next March 26th {2015}.
  • John from Nashville, Tn"I'm Coming Out" was Diana Ross' first US solo pop top 10 hit that didn't go to #1.
  • John from Nashville, TnThe subject of this song was presented to Diana Ross as a woman who wants to be her own boss and get out from under the thumb of a domineering force (Berry Gordy perhaps).
  • Leon from Waterbury, CtA lovely song.
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