Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now

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"Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now"
Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now McFaden & Whitehead.jpg
Single by McFadden & Whitehead
from the album McFadden & Whitehead
B-side "I Got the Love"
Released April 1979
Format 7", 12"
Recorded 1978 Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Genre Funk, disco
Length 7:02 (album version)
3:38 (single edit)
10:45 (12" version)
Label Philadelphia International
Songwriter(s) Jerry Cohen, Gene McFadden, John Whitehead
Producer(s) Jerry Cohen, Gene McFadden, John Whitehead
McFadden & Whitehead singles chronology
"Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now"
"I've Been Pushed Aside"

"Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now"
"I've Been Pushed Aside"

"Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" is a 1979 disco song performed by R&B duo McFadden & Whitehead, from their debut album McFadden & Whitehead. They wrote and produced the song along with keyboard player Jerry Cohen.[1] Released as the lead single from the album, the song spent a week at number one on the R&B singles chart. It also proved to be a successful crossover hit, peaking at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, and reached number 5 in the UK.[2] The single also made it to number 10 on the disco charts.[3] It eventually went double platinum, selling over 2 million copies.

"Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" is about succeeding despite having faced previous disadvantages ("so many things that held us down"). It was widely interpreted to be about the experience of the African American community, and after attaining popularity, became referred to as "the new black national anthem"[4][5] (the original being the 1900 song "Lift Every Voice and Sing").

McFadden & Whitehead would revisit the song in their 1984 single "Ain't No Stoppin' (Ain't No Way)."


Despite being seen as social commentary, in an interview conducted by Philadelphia video producer Bob Lott, John and Gene revealed that the song was actually about their frustration with Philadelphia International Records owners Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, who for many years preferred that they remain as house songwriters and not performers. Gamble has confirmed that upon first hearing "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now", he tried unsuccessfully to convince McFadden and Whitehead to give the song to The O'Jays, as he felt it was better to write and produce for the prominent recording artists of the day than to try to compete with them as on-stage performers.[6]

The bass hook was played by Philadelphia International Records house musician Jimmy Williams.

Chart performance[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

Other appearances[edit]

  • In 1979, New York radio station WBLS 107.5 FM used this song as their summer anthem, when the station became number one in Arbitron ratings that year.
  • The song served as the 1980 theme song for the Philadelphia Phillies, 1980-81 Philadelphia Eagles and 2000-2001 Philadelphia 76ers. (McFadden and Whitehead sung a Phillies, Eagles and Sixers version of "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now". For example, the line in the chorus would instead mention the team: "Ain't no stoppin' us now, the Phillies got the groove").
  • The song is played at the end of Detroit Red Wings games after a victory.
  • The song was played following goals scored by the St. Louis Steamers of the MISL indoor soccer league.
  • The song served as the theme song for former heavyweight champion of the world and boxing hall-of-fame Larry Holmes.
  • This song is also the ring walk song of former WBA Heavyweight title holder and former The Ring WBA, WBC & WBO Cruiserweight champion, David Haye.
  • "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" was played at the 2008 Democratic National Convention on the night Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States.
  • "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" is the theme song for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Marching Band, known As "The Marching Musical Machine of the Mid-South" or "M4". The band performed the song as they marched by the viewing stand for President Obama's Inaugural Parade.
  • The song served as the theme song for the Baltimore Orioles during the 1979 World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • The song was also considered the unofficial theme song for the Los Angeles Rams' 1979 regular season as they reached Super Bowl XIV versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • The song was used in Only Fools and Horses episode "Go West Young Man" when it was played in a club Del and Rodney visited.

Historical Significance[edit]

Following the 1992 Coup in Sierra Leone, the new found government headed by Valentine Strasser attempted to replace the Sierra Leonean national anthem with this song.[17]


  1. ^ "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now by McFadden & Whitehead Songfacts". Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 390. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 172. 
  4. ^ A House on Fire: The Rise and Fall of Philadelphia Soul, John A. Jackson, 2004, page 228
  5. ^ Sag Harbor, Colson Whitehead, 2009
  6. ^ "John Whitehead". Celebrity Crime Files. August 2013. TV One. 
  7. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-10. Retrieved 2015-08-06. 
  9. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  10. ^ "Chart Archive – 1970s Singles". Retrieved October 10, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1979/Top 100 Songs of 1979". Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  13. ^ "Songs overview". 
  14. ^ "The Rippingtons : Discography : Brave New World". 
  15. ^ "Hang Time overview". 
  16. ^ "Wayman Tisdale Continues Retro Run". 
  17. ^