"Shining Star" is a 1975 song by Earth, Wind & Fire from their album That's the Way of the World. The song was written by Maurice White, Larry Dunn and Philip Bailey and produced by White. "Shining Star" was Earth, Wind & Fire's first major hit, hitting No. 1 on both the U.S. Hot 100 and R&B charts from 1975.[1]

Shining Star is considered a prime example of funk music that attained mainstream success.[1] The concept for the song came to White while strolling at night during the band's recording of "That's the Way of the World". He was inspired by looking up at the starry sky and took his ideas about the song to the other band members. The song is noted for the way the instruments drop out during the last repeated choruses with the group singing the final lines a cappella followed by the song's abrupt end.[2]


"Shining Star" won Earth, Wind & Fire a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.[3] The single was successful commercially, selling over a million copies. It has been certified gold as up until the RIAA lowered the sales levels for certified singles in 1989, a Gold single equaled one million units sold.[4][5]

Earth, Wind & Fire performed Shining Star on the TV series The Midnight Special.[6]


  • In 1977, the cast performed the song on an episode of The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.
  • In 1990, Christian glam metal band Stryper covered the song on their album Against the Law.
  • In 1999, Dust Brothers and Jeymes covered the song on their album Muppets from Space soundtrack.
  • In 2003, Jump5 covered the song for Disney's The Lizzie McGuire Movie soundtrack.
  • In 2004, Ruben Studdard covered the song for the soundtrack of Warner Bros. Pictures' Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. He also makes a cameo at the end of the film singing the song.
  • In 2005, trumpeter Rick Braun covered the song for the album Yours Truly.[7][8]
  • Robert Randolph & the Family Band covered the song on their Live in Concert release in October 2011.

Chart positions

Chart (1975-1976) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Soul Singles 1


The information regarding accolades attributed to "Shining Star" is adapted from and awards on[9][10]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Pause & Play U.S. Songs Inducted into a Time Capsule, One Album per Week 2008 *
The Recording Academy U.S. Grammy Hall of Fame Albums and Songs 2007 *
Dave Marsh U.S. The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made 1989 433
Bruce Pollock U.S. The 7,500 Most Important Songs of 1944-2000 2005 *

(*) designates lists that are unordered.


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