What Ever Happened to: Chuckii Booker

Remember last year this time when my girl Missy Elliott re-emerged out of thin air and blessed us with that blazing-hot “WTF (Where They From)” single?

Well, the Earth has flown ’round the entire sun since then and still no album. Sigh.

I know many fans get frustrated when their favorite artists slink away from the spotlight, but just because they aren’t up in our faces doesn’t mean they aren’t grinding away in the background. Many times, there’s more money to be made behind the scenes than in front of the cameras anyway. Just ask your man Chuckii Booker.

What, y’all don’t remember Chuckii? Well, friiend, ii’ll remiind you.

OK, I promise to chill on the double ‘I’ thing. Chuckii Booker is already spell-check’s least favorite R&B singer.

Chuckii is the product of a prolific musical family. His mother Selestine Booker has performed with many gospel heavyweights, his grandmother is a gospel pianist and his uncle is a jazz flautist. Oh, and you’ve probably heard of his godfather – Barry White.


How many R&B stars do you know who made The Simpsons?

Barry was instrumental into breaking Chuckii into the music business, signing him to his production company in 1984. By 1986, he was featured as a keyboard artist for the band Tease and contributed to their 1986 debut album.

But Chuckii wouldn’t be a piano man for long. He passed a demo tape to the manager of renowned saxophonist Gerald Albright to check out his work, forgetting that the demo also featured Chuckii singing original song with his own vocals. That oversight became his blessing – Chuckii was soon signed to Atlantic Records and he began work on his first album.


Chuckii’s debut album, entitled, um, Chuckii, dropped in 1989 and quickly made him a player in the New Jack Swing arena. While the album itself didn’t make much noise, the singles themselves were great performers. “Turned Away” hit No. 1 on the R&B charts, and “(Don’t U Know) I Love U” rose to No. 4. “Touch” got some radio play around my way as well.

Along with maintaining his own solo career, Chuckii was the go-to-guy for many R&B acts in the late 80s. He served as the musical director for Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation tour and produced tracks for artists from Vanessa Williams to Godfather Barry. Most notably, give Chuckii props for producing two of your favorite R&B joints EVER – Troop’s “Spread My Wings” and “All I Do Is Think of You.”

That alone is enough to land him in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.


In 1992, Chuckii dropped his sophomore effort, Niice n’ Wiild.

Chuckii, you’re killing my spell-check playa.

Niice n’ Wiild gave us “Games,” Chuckii’s signature hit and yet another No. 1 R&B hit.

THIS was a jam.

The follow-up, the smoky “I Should Have Loved You,” was very strong too. Niice n’ Wiild climbed to No. 13 on the R&B charts, but man, this album deserved more love. It’s truly one of the unsung albums of the ’90s.

Now if you only pay attention to music videos and album releases, Chuckii just vanished from R&B forever after Niice n’ Wiild, never to be heard from again.

But don’t worry, Chuckii never went anywhere, he was hiding in plain sight. Though he backed away from the solo spotlight, he was hustling even harder behind the scenes. Chuckii went on to head the tours of TLC, Faith Evans and New Edition in the 90s and Mary J. Blige and Keyshia Cole in more recent years.

And his production roster looks like a Vh1 Soul playlist –  Lalah Hathaway, Kool and the Gang, En Vogue, Angela Winbush, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie and many, many more that I’m just too lazy to type.

Should He Come Back?: Chuckii never really “left” so I guess it’s more accurate to say…

Should He Record Another Album?:  Chuckii has given so much to R&B behind the scenes that I don’t feel like he has anything to prove. The world isn’t aching for that third Chuckii album – I’d rather see him continue to pass on his gifts to a new generation of R&B artists. Lord knows many of ’em could use the insight.

There’s more to contributing to R&B than cranking out singles every six months, you know. Chuckii made your favorite artists better – give him is props.

Visit our “What Ever Happened to…” archive for more on your favorite forgotten artists




  1. “Turned Away” is one of my favorite songs, and I still listen to it daily!

  2. I definitely feel what you are saying but I personally wouldn’t be mad at another Chuckii Booker album or at least a dope single. Hell if Future can still release music why not Chuckii?lol

  3. Chuckii Booker is one musician/singer who will probably go down as one of the most gifted, most talented producers who never got his due. Hopefully one day people will see him as I saw him when he first came on the scene. He is equal in comparison and more in my opinion to the likes of Jam & Lewis, Babyface and Teddy Riley. Research shows that he didn’t want the spotlight and that was probably the reason he is not mentioned with the likes of those. Real musicians know who he is and will be always be held in high regard of this genius of a musician.

  4. Chuckii is a pure genius. He has moved a generation of gospel musicians as well as funk musicians even still to this day. He has not received his accolades in my opinion mainly because he doesn’t care what people think of him in that regard. He is very comfortable with himself.

  5. Turned Away…….my fab still today….

  6. I would love to have iin my collection another CD from Chuckii Booker. I stiill play hiis music and keep several of his songs on my iipod. Come back Chuckii, come back. We love and enjoy your soulful sounds.

  7. Let us not forget that Games was the main sample in “return of the Mack”, released not too much later. Hope Chuckii is still eating nicely off of that publishing!

  8. Angela Richardson August 19, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    My Boi Chuckii Booker deserves his own star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. All in favor.. say I & let’s do this. ⭐4 #chuckiibooker

  9. I met Chuckii back in ‘94 when he was the music director for The Isley Brothers on the Honeynut Cheerios jazz festival. He was such a nice guy and shared a lot of knowledge on music and production tips . I told him that he was my idol and I swear , he looked at me and said “really??? You’re kidding”.

    I was not kidding .

    He seemed as if he was in total shock that I said that and was very thankful and said he appreciated me and thanked me for supporting his career. I honestly don’t think he knows the impact he’s had not only to me but to thousands of musicians world wide. My favorite Chuckii jam is “You don’t know”. What an incredible song, production and arrangement.

  10. I love u chuckdeedee

  11. I miss Chuckdeedee

  12. Do a remake of games!!! Love that song. Heard this morning on Tom Joyner Morning Show.

  13. Chuckii’s music still dominates in my radio show, A Funk Above The Rest!

  14. Tametrius Johnson-fielder May 3, 2018 at 1:40 am

    Love his music

    • As the host of the funkiest show on radio. I still play much music from Chuckii Booker’s catalog. I reached out to him for an interview and am still waiting for a response. Thanx for your article, its on point!
      Skip The Funktologist

  15. Chuckii is a musical genuius. In the 80’s we ran in the same circle. He even played instruments for a band me and 2 friends use to sing background for. He was definitely a good guy. When he come visit, I always wanted him to sing the Sam Cooke/ Luther medley he would play on my Mom’s piano. He has proven himself one of the best but I still would love to hear something new from him.

  16. I did an interview with Chuckii on my radio sow a few months ago. Chuckkii is currently the musical director for Lionel Ritchie. He is also working on new music to be released soon!!!

  17. Freddy of the FunQ Boyz October 2, 2018 at 3:49 am

    Chuckii Booker is a genius. I love his music as well as his musical gift. I met him in Miami in 2007 when he was working on the Mary J Blige tour with Jay Z. He was cool AF and gave me some music pointers and cool tips on recording. I have never met a producer who was so gracious and humble. A lot of people dont know that he played all the instruments on his albums. Definitely on that Prince level musically. I wish we as a whole could have supported him better as those types of talents do not come around that often. Hey Chuckii B, ill never forget talking to you bro. you are for real in my book.

  18. Chuckii B / Musical / Lyrical Champion by Unanimous Decision Love You Always my brother.

  19. Seattle’s Finest December 9, 2018 at 12:35 am

    Chuckii B is a bad cat

  20. Frontline off the Niice N Wiild CD is Lo-Key the funkiest joint on earth,

  21. I still play his music.

  22. Chucckii Booker it was nice meeting you at the Kaaboo festival in Dallas this past weekend. Wow i didn’t know you were as accomplished in the industry after doing research only to find out that my Mother’s favorite song in life is your song Turned Away. As a musician myself, i appreciate you with all the info and tips on recording as it has already helped me. Thank you for the info on all the software synths as well. I may never see you again but in case you see this, i want to say that you are truly a musical genius and if no one will say it, i will because you truly are. Success is not based on record sales in my book but your content of music you have shared with us. Thank you and i will always support you bro. Jason

  23. Booker please if you find time please help my son out he is a music artists (Never Going Back)Jimmy Gourdine

    • Chuckii produced a song for two young ladies in the 1990s. I think the name of the song was “Are you available?” Great work.

  24. Tuned away is such a bop and imo one of the greatest rnb songs ever! Would love to hear some new music from chuckii booker!!

  25. One of the greatest R&B singers of all time. Love him games is my favorite

  26. Chuckii is one cool ass dude. Thanks for giving my son your bass string bracelet. He won’t take it off.

  27. Chuckii Booker is still in my music rotation. Slept on in the 90′ by the music industry. His music needs to be felt today because it is lacking today. Enough said

  28. Chuckii one of the baddest R&B Funk musicians in the world.

  29. I really love his rhythm guitar playing and classy guitar solos Super talented for real. peace

  30. Chuckii is a genius musician

  31. Chuckii is DOPE! Periodt! He doesn’t need another album because most haven’t appreciated the one’s that are currently out. Blow up his old stuff, and then maybe he will cut another one. Until then………

  32. I just heard an interview with bass player Derek DOA Allen. He said in his view and opinion. It’s Prince or Chuckii. Take your pick. That’s pretty deep and may seem farfetched but after hearing Chuckii’s catalog and then finding out he played all the instruments on his records ( Except for the live content ) i have to say he is not lying. Dude is the most disrespected music legend i have ever heard. Real talk

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