|Format 7" single|
Genre Show tune, soul
|B-side "Fake Your Way to the Top" by Cleavant Derricks, Loretta Devine, Jennifer Holliday, and Sheryl Lee Ralph|
"And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" (also known in short as just "And I Am Telling You") is a torch song from the Broadway musical Dreamgirls, with lyrics by Tom Eyen and music by Henry Krieger. In the context of the musical, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" is sung by the character Effie White, a singer with the girl group The Dreams, to her manager, Curtis Taylor Jr., whose romantic and professional relationship with Effie is quickly ending. The lyrics to "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going", often considered the show's signature tune, describe Effie's love for Curtis, both strongly devoted and defiant. She refuses to let Curtis leave her behind, and boldly proclaims to him, "I'm staying and you ... you're gonna love me."
In addition to its presence in the musical, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" is also notable as the debut single of two women who portrayed Effie. Jennifer Holliday originated the role on Broadway in 1981 and won a Tony Award for her performance as well as the Grammy for Best R&B Performance, Female for its re-release in 1982 for which it became a number-one R&B hit for Holliday. Jennifer Hudson portrayed Effie in the 2006 film adaptation of Dreamgirls, winning an Oscar for the role. Hudson's version became a Top 20 R&B single, and a number-one dance hit.
Jennifer Holliday version
In 1982, Jennifer Holliday, the actress who portrayed Effie in the original Broadway production, released the song as a single. It was her first single release and it met with great success, topping the Billboard R&B charts and attaining top forty positions on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart. In 1983, Holliday won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female for the single.
"And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" was designed as the closing number of Dreamgirls' first act. Holliday's performance of the song, in a style owing much to gospel music singing traditions, was regularly staged to thunderous applause; it was hailed as the highlight of the show in several printed reviews of the musical. In his review of Dreamgirls' opening night performance, New York Times theatre critic Frank Rich referred to Holliday's "And I Am Telling You" as "one of the most powerful theatrical coups to be found in a Broadway musical since Ethel Merman sang "Everything's Coming Up Roses" at the end of Act I of Gypsy" "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" remains Holliday's signature song.
Jennifer Hudson version
"And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" was recorded in 2006 by former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson, who portrayed Effie White in the DreamWorks/Paramount motion picture adaptation of Dreamgirls. Her recording of the song, the Dreamgirls film soundtrack's second single, peaked at number 60 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and number 14 on the R&B chart. Hudson won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Dreamgirls; she thanked Holliday in her acceptance speech. The song can be heard on her debut album Jennifer Hudson (2008).
Hudson's version received outstanding reviews from multiple movie and music critics, which highlighted her strength as both a vocalist and an actress. New York Observer described Hudson's performance as "five mellifluous, molto vibrato minutes...." Newsweek said that when moviegoers hear Hudson sing the song, she "is going to raise goose bumps across the land." Variety wrote that Hudson's performance "calls to mind debuts like Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl or Bette Midler in The Rose, with a voice like the young Aretha."
On June 26, 2007, the 7th Annual BET Awards opened with Jennifer Holliday and Jennifer Hudson performing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" live in their first duet together.
Although it in essence is Hudson's first single release, it became her fourth top 75 hit in the United Kingdom after a performance on The X Factor in 2009 after being sung by Danyl Johnson. Hudson performed the song again at the 85th Academy Awards, as part of the Dreamgirls section in the tribute to movie musicals.
A club remix was created for this single, engineered by Richie Jones and Eric Kupper, and appears as a bonus track on the "Deluxe Edition" of the Dreamgirls soundtrack album. This version of Hudson's "And I Am Telling You" was a chart success, reaching the top of the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in early 2007. A shortened edit of the full remix appeared on a Columbia Records promotional-only CD accompanying the Jones & Kupper remix of another Dreamgirls song, the Beyoncé Knowles/Anika Noni Rose/Sharon Leal/Jennifer Hudson rendition of "One Night Only". Also included were the Freemasons remixes of Beyoncé's singles "Déjà Vu" and "Ring the Alarm".
Notable cover versions
Whitney Houston performed the song at the beginning of a medley with "I Have Nothing" at the 1994 American Music Awards. This performance is included on her 2014 CD/DVD release, Live: Her Greatest Performances. Houston also performed the tune as part of the set list during her Bodyguard Tour in 1993.
In 1994, Donna Giles scored a minor club hit in the US and UK with her rendition of the song. The track remained a sleeper club hit in the UK throughout 1995, prompting a spate of re-releases and remixes, including Stonebridge, culminating in a major release on Ore Records in 1996. This last release would finally take the track to number 27 on the UK Singles Chart in February of that year. On November 20, 2007, the original master, Produced by critically acclaimed Eve Nelson, was released digitally by Breaking Records and is available on all major download sites.
Jake Gyllenhaal performed it on Saturday Night Live shortly after the film's release in a mock performance of Jennifer Hudson. He wore a wig, black heels, and a black sequin dress. Three of the regulars on SNL were his "backup singers", also dressed in a black dress, heels, and wigs.
In 2009, it was covered by Amber Riley as her character Mercedes Jones in the first-season Glee episode "Sectionals".
American Idol runner-up Jessica Sanchez performed the song as one of her two songs in the Top 4. Her performance during the Top 4 was praised by Jennifer Holliday. She later performed the song with Holliday during the finale of the show's eleventh season in 2012.
Dami Im, the 2013 winner of the Australian version of The X Factor, performed this song as one of her final three songs. Her performance received a rapturous response from all four judges and the audience. All four judges stood up on the judges table as an indication of their overwhelming adulation of her exquisite performance while the audience applauded strongly for 70 seconds. Her performance debuted number 29 on the Australian ARIA Charts. On 1 December 2013, Im released a version of the song as part of her self-titled album, which debuted at number one in Australia, and was certified Platinum.
Also in 2013, Sam Bailey performed it with Nicole Scherzinger as her celebrity duet choice during the first part of the tenth season finale of The X Factor in the UK. The duet also appeared on her 2014 debut album The Power of Love.
In 2015, Jamie Foxx performed an improvised spoof of the song on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, with the words to "On Top of Spaghetti."
In an episode of Martin, Gina (Tisha Campbell) performs the song while interrupting Pam's performance of the song "Home" (from The Wiz) on Martin's talk show "Word On the Street." As they both are auditioning for Biggie Smalls, they attempt to out-sing each other, ultimately resulting in embarrassing Martin.
Jennifer Holliday version
Rosabel with Jennifer Holliday version
Jennifer Hudson version