Brenda Russell’s “Piano in the Dark” now plays in a club. Rapper Flo Rida has turned her sultry ballad, which rose to No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1988, into the dance floor-ready “I Cry.” The new interpretation bows this week at No. 81 on the Hot 100, returning the song’s hook to the chart after a 24-year hiatus. (It also debuts on Rap Songs at No. 25 and Pop Songs at No. 36.)
“Cry” actually samples a sample: Dutch duo Bingo Players first reworked “Piano” as “Cry (Just a Little),” which reached No. 15 on Dance/Mix Show Airplay in March.
Russell, who first arrived on the Hot 100 in 1979 with the No. 30 hit “So Good, So Right,” co-wrote “Piano” with Jeff Hull and Scott Cutler, the latter of whom co-penned Natalie Imbruglia’s 1998 smash “Torn,” among other melodic hits. “Piano” was nominated for three Grammy Awards, including song of the year, in 1989.
What does Russell think of the transformation of “Piano” into two dance hits this year?
“It’s pretty cool that artists like Flo Rida and Bingo Players can be inspired to interpret a song like ‘Piano in the Dark’ in completely new genres,” she tells Chart Beat. “As an artist and writer, it’s the highest compliment we can be paid…
Read more: Gary Trust, Billboard