Millie Jackson

Millie Jackson

Millie Jackson in concert.
Background information
Birth name Mildred Virginia Jackson[1]
Born (1944-07-15) July 15, 1944
Origin Thomson, Georgia, United States
Genres Soul, disco, rhythm and blues
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1964present
Labels MGM Records (1970–1972)
Spring Records (1973–1984)
Jive Records (1985–1993)
Ichiban Records (1993–1997)
Weird Wreckuds (2000–present)
Associated acts Isaac Hayes, Betty Wright, Keisha Jackson, Joi, Facts of Life

Mildred Virginia "Millie" Jackson (born July 15, 1944) is an American singer-songwriter. Six of her albums have been certified gold by the RIAA for over 500,000 copies.

Her vocal performances are often distinguished by long, humorous, and explicit spoken sections in her music, which she started doing on stage to get the attention of the audience. She has also recorded songs in a disco or dance music style and even some country styled songs. She is the mother of Keisha Jackson.

Early life

Born in Thomson, Georgia, Jackson is the daughter of a sharecropper.[2] Her mother died when she was a child and subsequently, she and her father moved to Newark, New Jersey. By the time Jackson was in her mid-teens, she had moved to Brooklyn to live with an aunt. She occasionally worked as a model for magazines like JIVE and Sepia.


Jackson's singing career reportedly began on a dare to enter a 1964 Harlem nightclub talent contest, which she won. Although she first recorded for MGM Records in 1970, she soon left and began a long association with New York-based Spring Records. Working with the label's in-house producer, Raeford Gerald, her first single to chart was 1971's deceptively titled "A Child of God (It's Hard to Believe)," which reached number 22 on the R&B charts. In 1972, Jackson had her first R&B Top Ten single with the follow-up, "Ask Me What You Want", which also reached the pop Top 30, then "My Man, A Sweet Man" reached #7 R&B; all three hits were co-written by Jackson. "My Man, A Sweet Man" retains its popularity today for northern soul enthusiasts and is played on the radio in the UK and quoted as an example from this musical genre[3] as is her 1976 recording, "A House for Sale".[4] The following year brought her biggest single success and her third Top Ten hit, "It Hurts So Good," which made #3 on the R&B charts and #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart. The single was featured on the album of the same name and in the blaxploitation film Cleopatra Jones, also appearing on that film's soundtrack along with the song "Love Doctor".

In 1974, she released the album Caught Up, which introduced her innovative style of raunchy rap. The featured release was her version of Luther Ingram's million-seller, "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right", for which she received two Grammy nominations. By now, she had switched producers to work only with Brad Shapiro, recording at Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama with the renowned Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. She continued to record most of her material for Spring there, including the follow-up album, Still Caught Up.

Over the next ten years, Jackson had a string of successful albums and numerous R&B chart entries, the biggest being her 1977 version of Merle Haggard's country hit "If You're Not Back In Love By Monday". That hit single was followed by many more, including her version of the Boney M. song, the disco single, "Never Change Lovers In The Middle of The Night." This single peaked at #33 on the Black Singles chart in 1979.

Jackson recorded an album in 1979 with Isaac Hayes called "Royal Rappin's" and the same year saw her release a double album, "Live And Uncensored", recorded in concert at Los Angeles venue, The Roxy. Jackson also formed and produced the group Facts of Life. They had a major hit in 1976 with "Sometimes" (#3 R&B, #31 Pop).

Jackson found herself without a label when Spring closed down in 1984, but in 1986, she signed with Jive Records in a deal that produced four albums and resulted in further R&B Top Ten hits with "Hot! Wild! Unrestricted! Crazy Love" and "Love Is a Dangerous Game". She appeared on an Elton John track in 1985, "Act Of War", which was a Top 40 hit in the UK, but failed to chart in the USA. In 1991, she wrote, produced and starred in the successful touring play Young Man, Older Woman, based on her album of the same title for Jive.

On November 24, 1994, Jackson appeared in the Thanksgiving episode Feast or Famine of Martin as Florine.

In 2000, her voice featured in "Am I Wrong" by Etienne de Crécy, sampled from her performance in "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right".

Jackson may be most famous in the internet age for her album covers, which frequently appear on "worst ever" lists. E.S.P. (Extra Sexual Persuasion) features Jackson peering into a crystal ball that accentuates her cleavage; Back to the S t! depicts Jackson sitting on a toilet.[5][6]

Jackson now runs her own record label, Weird Wreckuds. After a lengthy hiatus from recording, she released her 2001 album, Not For Church Folk, which marked a return to her "tell-it-like-it-is" lyrical style with an Urban contemporary sound. The album features the singles "Butt-A-Cize" (a dance song) and "Leave Me Alone" (a ballad). The album also features a collaboration with rapper Da Brat on the song "In My Life."

Jackson had her own radio show in Dallas, Texas for 13 years. Broadcasting via remote from her home in Atlanta, Jackson worked in afternoon drive-time from 3-6 pm on KKDA 730 AM, until January 6, 2012.

In 2006, five of Jackson's best-selling albums – Millie Jackson (1972), It Hurts So Good (1973), Caught Up (1974), Still Caught Up (1975), and Feelin' Bitchy (1977) – were digitally remastered and released on CD with bonus tracks. All of Jackson's Spring Records-era albums are available from Ace Records in the UK.

An Imitation of Love was re-issued on CD in 2013 by the Funkytowngrooves label in a remastered, expanded edition. Other albums released on the Jive and Ichiban labels remain out of print, though some of those songs appear on compilation CDs.

On February 6, 2012, the documentary, Unsung - The Story of Mildred 'Millie' Jackson aired on the TV One network.

Jackson performed at Washington, D.C.'s historic Howard Theatre on August 3, 2012, and at B.B. King's Blues Club in New York on August 4, 2012. On June 6, 2015 Jackson was inducted into the Official Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame in Clarksdale, MS.

Personal life

She has two children: Keisha Jackson, born in the 1960s before she was married, and son Jerroll born in the late 1970s. She is not related to the Jackson family of singers and musicians from Gary, Indiana.



Year Album US US
UK Certification
1972Millie Jackson166
1973It Hurts So Good17513
1974I Got To Try It One Time
1974Caught Up214
  • RIAA: Gold
1975Still Caught Up11227
1976Free And In Love17
1977Feelin' Bitchy344
  • RIAA: Gold
1977Lovingly Yours17544
1978Get It Out'cha System5514
  • RIAA: Gold
1979A Moment's Pleasure14447
1979Royal Rappin's (with Isaac Hayes)8017
1979Live & Uncensored942281
1980For Men Only10023
1980I Had To Say It13725
1981Just a Lil' Bit Country20143
1982Hard Times20129
1982Live And Outrageous (Rated XXX)11311
1983E.S.P. (Extra Sexual Persuasion)4059
1986An Imitation of Love11916
1988The Tide Is Turning
1989Back to the S t!79
1991Young Man, Older Woman
1993Young Man, Older Woman: Cast Album
1994Rock N' Soul
1995It's Over
1997The Sequel, It Ain't Over
2001Not for Church Folk!



Chart singles

Year Single Chart positions
1971 "A Child of God" 102 22
1972 "Ask Me What You Want" 27 4
"My Man, a Sweet Man" 42 7 50
"I Miss You Baby" 95 22
1973 "Breakaway" 110 16
"It Hurts So Good" 24 3
1974 "I Got To Try It One Time" 21
"How Do You Feel the Morning After" 77 11
1975 "The Rap" 42
"(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right" 42 flip
"I'm Through Trying To Prove My Love To You" 58
"Leftovers" 87 17
"Loving Arms" 45
1976 "Bad Risk" 24
"There You Are" flip
"Feel Like Making Love" 71
1977 "I Can't Say Goodbye" 40
"A Love of Your Own" 87
"If You're Not Back In Love By Monday" 43 5
1978 "All the Way Lover" 102 12
"Sweet Music Man" 33
"Keep the Home Fires Burnin'" 83
1979 "Never Change Lovers In the Middle of the Night" 33
"A Moment's Pleasure" 70
"We Got To Hit It Off" 56
"Do You Wanna Make Love" (with Isaac Hayes) 30
1980 "Didn't I Blow Your Mind" 49
"You Never Cross My Mind" (with Isaac Hayes) 78
"Despair" 61
"This Is It (Part One)" 88
1981 "I Can't Stop Loving You" 62
1982 "Special Occasion" 51
1983 "I Feel Like Walking In the Rain" 58 55
1985 "Act of War" (with Elton John) 32
1986 "Hot Wild Unrestricted Crazy Love" 9 99
1987 "Love Is a Dangerous Game" 6 81
"An Imitation of Love" 58
"It's a Thang" 79
"Be Yourself" (with Whodini) 20
1988 "Something You Can Feel" 45


  1. Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 277. ISBN 978-0313344237.
  2. Ollison, Rashod D. "Nasty, sassy Miss Millie Millie Jackson.", April 5, 2001.
  3. "Russ Winstanley and Wigan Casino memories". BBC Sheffield. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
  4. Nowell, David (1999). Too Darn Soulful - The Story of Northern Soul. London: Robson Books. p. 151. ISBN 1-86105-270-7.
  5. "100 Worst Album Covers EVER". Rate Your
  6. Holmes, Chris (2012-04-30). "Music from the Worst Album Covers — Millie Jackson, Back to the S__t!". The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  7. 1 2 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 276. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
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