Curtis Mayfield's 20 Greatest Hits

December 26, 2015 marked the 16th anniversary of Curtis Mayfield's death

Born June 3, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois, Curtis Mayfield was one of the greatest composers and producers of the 1960s and 1970s. Beginning his career as a members of The Impressions, he also composed hits for several stars, including Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Staple Singers. The Isley Brothers, Bob Marley, Donny Hathaway, Tony Orlando and Dawn, The Righteous Brothers, Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler, Major Lance, and The Five Stairsteps. 

Mayfield's honors include induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 1991 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999. He also received the Grammy Legend Award in 1994, and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.Two of his songs, "People Get Ready" and Super Fly," were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Here is a list of "Curtis Mayfield's 20 Greatest Hits."

01
of 20

1972 - "Super Fly"

'Super Fly" soundtrack album. Curtom Recods

Curtis Mayfield's title song from the 1972 movie Super Fly starring Ron O'Neal was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998. The album reached number one on the Billboard pop and R&B charts,

02
of 20

1972 - "Freddie's Dead"

Curtis Mayfield. Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

"Freddie;s Dead" was the first single released from Curtis Mayfield's 1972 Super Fly soundtrack album. The song reached number two on the Billboard R&B chart and number four on the Hot 100. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Song.

03
of 20

1976 - "Something He Can Feel" by Aretha Franklin

Aretha FRanklin. Hulton Archive/Getty Image

Aretha Franklin recorded "Something He Can Feel," composed and produced by Curtis Mayfield, for the soundtrack of the 1976 movie Sparkle starring Irene Cara. The song reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart. 16 years later, a cover version by En Vogue also hit number one.

04
of 20

1975 - "Let's Do It Again" by The Staple Singers

The Staple Singers. Stax Records

"Let's Do It Again" by The Staple Singers hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts. Curtis Mayfield composed and produced the song as the title tune of the 1975 movie Let's Do It Again starring Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier.

05
of 20

1964 - "People Get Ready"

The Impressions. Gilles Petard/Redferns

"People Get Ready" by The Impressions was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998. It was the title song of the 1964 People Get Ready album, and was one of several Curtis Mayfield compositions which became theme songs for the civil rights movement of the 1960s,

06
of 20

1963 - "It's All Right"

The Impressions. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In 1963, "It's All Right," composed by Curtis Mayfield, became The Impressions' first of six number one singles on the Billboard R&B chart. It was also the group's most successful song on the Hot 100, reaching number four.

07
of 20

1969 - Choice of Colors"

The Impressions. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

From The Impressions' 1969 album, The Young Mods' Forgotten Story, "Choice of Colors" reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart.

08
of 20

1967 - "We're A Winner"

The Impressions. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The title song of The Impressions' 1968 album We're A Winner was another Curtis Mayfield composition which was prominent during the civil rights movement. The song was recorded with a live audience in Chicago, Illinois and reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart.

09
of 20

1974 - "On and On" by Gladys Knight and the Pips

Gladys Knight and the Pips. Ian Tyas/Keystone/Getty Images

Gladys Knight and the Pips recorded the soundtrack to the 1974 movie Claudine which was composed and produced by Curtis Mayfield. The film starred Diahann Carroll and James Earl Jones, and the first single, "On and On," reached number two on the Billboard R&B chart and number five on the Hot 100.

10
of 20

1961 - Gypsy Woman"

The Impressions. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

"Gypsy Woman" was the first single The Impressions recorded with Curtis Mayfield as lead singer following the departure of former lead vocalist Jerry Butler. Written by Mayfield, it reached number two on the Billboard R&B chart in 1961.

11
of 20

1958 - "For Your Precious Love"

Jerry Butler. Gilles Petard/Redferns

Curtis Mayfield composed the title song of Jerry Butler and The Impressions' 1958 album, For Your Precious Love. It peaked at number three on the Billboard RandB chart.

12
of 20

1960 - "He Will Break Your Heart" by Jerry Butler

Jerry Butler. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Curtis Mayfield composed Jerry Butler's first solo single to reach number one on the Billboard R&B chart, the 1960 song, "He Will Break Your Heart." 

13
of 20

1964 - "Keep On Pushing"

The Impressions. Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images

The title song of The Impressions' 1965 album Keep On Pushing was another Curtis Mayfield composition that was at the center of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. It remained at number one on the Cashbox R&B chart for two weeks in 1964. 

40 years later, it was the theme of the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention by then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama.

14
of 20

1964 - "I'm So Proud"

The Impressions. Gilles Petard/Redferns

From The Impressions' 1964 album, The Never Ending Impressions, "I'm So Proud" was a classic love ballad that reached number 14 on both the Billboard R&B and Hot 100 charts.

15
of 20

1971 - "Move On Up"

'Curtis' album. Curtom Records

"Move On Up" was Curtis Mayfield's second single from his 1970 debut solo album, Curtis. Despite the fact that it did not chart, it became a classic and symbolized his commitment to writing songs of hope and encouragement.

16
of 20

1964 - "Amen"

The Impressions. GAB Archive/Redferns

The Impressions' 1964 version of the traditional folk gospel song "Amen" remained at number one on the Cashbox R&B chart for three weeks and peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100. It was one of their many songs that empowered blacks during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

17
of 20

1970 - "Check Out Your Mind!"

The Impressions. GAB Archive/Redferns

Check Out Your Mind! in 1970 was Curtis Mayfield's final album with The Impressions before launching his solo career. The title song reached number three on the Billboard R&B chart.

18
of 20

1970 - "(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go"

Curtis Mayfield. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

"(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go" was Curtis Mayfield's first single from his debut solo album Curtis in 1970. Inspired by the state of race relations in America, the song reached number three on the Billboard R&B chart.

19
of 20

1971 - "Get Down"

Curtis Mayfield. Ron Howard/Redferns

"Get Down" was the first single from  Curtis Mayfield's second solo album, Roots, released in 1971. It reached number six on the Billboard R&B chart.

20
of 20

1973 - Future Shock"

Curtis Mayfield. David Reed/Redferns

Curtis Mayfield hit number one on the Billboard R&B chart with his fifth solo album, Back To The World in 1973. The first single "Future Shock," reached number eleven.