Ten Classic O'Jays Hits

Over 50 years of musical excellence

Formed in Canton, Ohio in 1958, The O'Jays have recorded ten number one Billboard R&B hits with five platinum and four gold albums. Five of their albums have reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart. The group began as a quintet consisting of lead singer Eddle Levert, Walter Williams, William Powell, Bobby Massey, and Bill Isles. Massey and Isles left the group, and as a trio, The O'Jays achieved their greatest success after signing with Philadelphia International Records in 1972. Powell left the group in 1976 and was replaced by Sammy Strain from Little Anthony and the Imperials. Powell passed away from cancer in 1977. Strain left The O'Jays in 1992 and was replaced by Nathaniel Best. When Best departed in 1995, he was replaced by Eric Nolan Grant.

The group was among the many stars on Philadelphia International Records, including Teddy Pendergrass, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Lou Rawls, Patti LaBelle, Phyllis Hyman, Billy Paul, The Three Degrees, The Jones Girls, Bunny Sigler, and Jean Carn. The Jacksons also released one self-titled album on the label in 1976.

The O'Jays' honors include a BET Lifetime Achievement Award, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame.

Here are "Ten Classic O'Jays Songs."

1
1972 - "Love Train"

The O'Jays. Gems/Redferns

A song of international unity composed and produced by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, "Love Train" by the O'Jays reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts in 1972. From The Backstabbers album, it was certified gold, and in 2006, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

2
1972 - "Backstabbers"

The O'Jays. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The title song of The O'Jays' 1972 Backstabbers album reached the top of the Billboard R&B chart and peaked at number three on the Hot 100. It was the group's first release on Philadelphia International Records, owned by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. It was certified gold for selling over one million copies.

3
1974 - "For The Love of Money"

The O'jays. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

From The O'Jays' 1973 Ship Ahoy album, "For the Love of Money" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance - Duo, Group or Chorus. The gold single peaked at number three on the Billboard R&B chart, number nine on the Hot 100, and has been covered or sampled by dozens of artists.

4
1978 - "Use ta Be My Girl"

The O'Jays. GAB Archive/Redferns)

In 1978, "Use ta Be My Girl" became The O'Jays' eighth number one single on the Billboard R&B chart. From the So Full of Love album, the song sold over one million copies.

5
1975 - "I Love Music"

The O'Jays. Fotos International/Courtesy Getty Images

From The O'Jays' 1975 Family Reunion album, "I Love Music" was certified gold and remained at the top of the Billboard Dance chart for eight weeks. It was also number one on the R&B chart, and reached number five on the Hot 100.

6
1976 - "Livin' for the Weekend"

The O'Jays. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In 1976, "Living' for the Weekend" became The O'Jays' fifth number one single on the Billboard R&B chart. From the Family Reunion album, it spent two weeks at the top of the chart, and reached number twenty on the Hot 100.

7
1976 - "Message In Our Music"

The O'Jays. Fotos International/Courtesy Getty Images

The title song of The O'Jays' 1976 Message In Our Music album was their sixth number one R&B hit.

8
1976 - "Darlin' Darlin' Baby (Sweet, Tender, Love)"

The O'Jays. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

From The O'Jays' 1976 Message In Our Music album, "Darlin' Darlin' Baby (Sweet, Tender Love)" was the group's seventh number one single on the Billboard R&B chart.

9
1987 - "Lovin' You"

The O'Jays. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

"Lovin' You" from The O'Jays' 1987 Let Me Touch You album was their tenth number one single on the Billboard R&B chart. It was their final chart topping hit composed and produced by Gamble and Huff.

10
1975 - "Let Me Make Love To You"

The O'Jays. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

From the 1975 Survival album, "Let Me Make Love to You" was not one of The O'Jays' biggest chart hits, only reaching number ten on the Billboard R&B chart. However, it is one of Eddle Levert's signature songs, and always drives their female fans into ecstasy during live performances.