Carole King performing "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" in 2010
"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" is a 1967 single released by American soul singer Aretha Franklin on the Atlantic label. The record was a big hit for Franklin, reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, and became a standard song for her. Franklin included a live recording on the album "Aretha in Paris" (1968).
Co-written by the celebrated writing-producing team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin, the song was inspired by Atlantic Records co-owner and producer Jerry Wexler. As recounted in his autobiography, Wexler, a student of African-American musical culture, had been mulling over the concept of the "natural man", when he drove by King on the streets of New York. He shouted out to her he wanted a "natural woman" song for Franklin's next album. In thanks, Goffin and King granted Wexler a co-writing credit.
Natural Man was released by Freddie Hughes in 1968 "Natural Man" / "I Gotta Keep My Bluff in" (Wand Records 1192).
Natural Woman was recorded by Carole King on her landmark 1971 album Tapestry, and by Mary J. Blige, whose 1995 version, from the soundtrack of New York Undercover, also charted.
Laura Nyro and La Belle covered the song in a live version for the album Gonna Take A Miracle, released in 1971.
Bobby Womack did a version of the song on his 1973 album Facts of Life with lyrics and title altered to "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Man".
Rod Stewart covered, that version in 1974 for his album Smiler, and altered the title to (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Man.
Bonnie Tyler did a successful version of the song on her album It's a Heartache (known as Natural Force outside the USA) in 1978.
Céline Dion also recorded this song in 1995 for the Tapestry Revisited album. Franklin gave a live performance of the song alongside King, Dion, Mariah Carey, Gloria Estefan and Shania Twain on the first VH1 Divas special in 1998.
Whitney Houston also covered the song during her Bodyguard World Tour, as part of a portion of her show, that she specifically dedicated to Aretha Franklin. (The Houston cover was never recorded as part of an official album.)
Japanese recording artist Superfly released a cover of the song as a B-side on her single "Dancing on the Fire" and later released the song as a digital single.
Indie Canadian recording artist Katie Stelmanis covered the song on her 2007 album Join Us.
X Factor USA judge, Demi Lovato covered the song during her Summer Tour 2009 and South American Tour 2010 (the second one at Colombia and Rio de Janeiro only). The song is performed in the film "S1m0ne".
The song appears on the game Karaoke Revolution. In 2003, the episode "Walking on Water" of BBC series Waking the Dead began with a version of the song performed by a transgender character.
Mary J. Blige version
In April 1995, Mary J. Blige's version of the song was included on the Fox drama, New York Undercover, alongside a music video filmed with Blige performing at a wedding-style ceremony, with backup singers around her. Her version was featured on the My Life and Share My World albums. The single peaked at number 39 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and number 95 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Céline Dion version
"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" was released as a promotional single by Céline Dion on October 23, 1995 in the United States, Canada and Australia.4 It was featured on a tribute album to Carole King, called Tapestry Revisited: A Tribute to Carole King from October 24, 1995. Later, Céline Dion included this track on most editions of her 1996 album Falling into You. The track was produced by David Foster. Dion's version enjoyed a moderate success on the adult contemporary charts, reaching number 9 in Canada and number 31 in the United States. In 2008, the song was featured on the U.S. version of My Love: Ultimate Essential Collection.
On April 14, 1998, Céline Dion, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, Gloria Estefan and Carole King performed during a VH1 Divas concert at the Beacon Theatre, New York. The five vocalists were recruited by the cable music network VH1 to raise money for Save the Music, their education charity. Hyped extensively in the press, the event was a ratings' winner for VH1 - so successful, in fact, that the network arranged to have the concert released on disc and tape on October 6, 1998. At that time "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (performed by all divas) was released as a radio single around the world.
Formats and track listings
1995 promotional CD single
- "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" – 3:40
1998 promotional CD single
- "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (live) – 5:15
- "You've Got a Friend" (live) – 5:28