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Born on this day: January 28, 1968 - Genius rapper and lyricist Rakim (born William Michael Griffin Jr. in Wyandanch, Long Island, NY). Happy 45th Birthday, Rakim!!
On this day in music history: January 28, 1984 - "If Only You Knew" by Patti LaBelle hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for four weeks, also peaking at #46 on February 25th. Written by Cynthia Biggs, Kenny Gamble, and Dexter Wansel, it is the first solo chart topper for Philadelphia-born R&B vocalist. Philadelphia International Records staff writer and producer Wansel will write the music and then collaborate with Biggs who will come up with the title and write most of the lyrics. Label co-owner and producer Gamble will help finish the lyrics. Gamble will also suggest that Patti LaBelle record the song. The track is originally recorded in 1981 during sessions for LaBelle's previous album, The Spirit's In It. The song will be shelved until it is pulled from the vault and included on what will be her final album for Philadelphia International Records. Released as the first single from LaBelle's sixth solo release I'm In Love Again, it is an immediate smash at black radio and becomes her first solo #1. LaBelle will quickly score two more hits with the follow up "Love, Need, And Want You" (#10 R&B) as well as the duet "Love Has Finally Come At Last" (#3 R&B) with Bobby Womack. LaBelle will suddenly become a hot property and is quickly signed by MCA Records, where she will go on to even greater success.