“Lovin’ You“ is a 1975 hit single originally performed by American singer Minnie Riperton. It became a No.1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 5, 1975. Additionally, it reached No. 2 in the UK, and No.3 on the R&B chart; in the U.S. Billboard ranked it as the No.13 song for 1975. The song is especially significant due to Riperton’s singing in the very high whistle register in the bridge. It is also noteworthy for the chirping songbirds heard throughout.
It was the fourth single from the album Perfect Angel (1974). As with the rest of the album, the keyboard backing is played by Stevie Wonder (credited as “El Toro Negro”, Spanish for the black bull, as Wonder is a Taurus).
“Lovin’ You” was among the first of several songs to top the U.S. pop chart without the help of a percussion instrument. Prior examples of percussion-less Number Ones were Jim Croce – “Time in a Bottle” (1973), The Beatles – “Yesterday” (1965), and on the UK Singles Chart, The Beatles – “Eleanor Rigby” (1966).
According to the liner notes from Riperton’s compilation CD Petals, the melody for “Lovin’ You” was created to be a distraction for her baby daughter (Maya Rudolph) so that Minnie and her husband Richard could hang out. Maya was in the studio with her mother on the day it was recorded and Riperton can be heard singing her daughter’s name at the end, but only in the unedited or album version. The song fades out early in the radio edit because the disc jockeys felt that the repeated “Maya” was being overdone and that it would be misunderstood as a Mayan chant.