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Dionne Warwick Songs: 21 of Her Greatest Hits Guaranteed To Lift Your Spirits

Sing along to "Walk on By", "Say A Little Prayer For You" and her new collab with Dolly Parton!

Since first bursting on the contemporary music scene in the ’60s, Dionne Warwick has become an international superstar and one of the most consistent hitmakers in American music history. Dionne Warwick songs have won six Grammy Awards and sold over 100 million records worldwide, but equally impressive is her work as a philanthropist and activist.

Warwick was one of the first celebrities to use her platform to bring awareness of the AIDS crisis and raise money for research to combat the deadly disease. All proceeds from “That’s What Friends Are For,” her Grammy Award-winning hit with Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight, went to benefit the AIDS crises and millions have been generated by the hit single. (Check out last year’s Woman’s World exclusive with Dionne Warwick and her wisdom for living life to the fullest).

Over the course of her career, Warwick has recorded some of pop music’s most enduring classics, among them “Walk on By,” “I Say a Little Prayer for You,” “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” “Heartbreaker,” “Then Came You” and “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” Now in her 80s, the icon is still busy touring the world, working on a new book and recording a gospel album that will feature duets with Dolly Parton and her son Damon Elliott.

Here we take a look back at some of Warwick’s most memorable songs and get a preview of her upcoming gospel collection.

Related: In Honor of Barbra Streisand’s New Memoir, Take a Look at the Diva’s Life, Loves and Legacy in 15 Rare Photos

21 best Dionne Warwick songs

1. “Don’t Make Me Over” (1962)

Warwick was originally supposed to record a song called “Make It Easy on Yourself” as her first single, but on the way to the studio, she heard it on the radio being sung by Jerry Butler. When she arrived and expressed her displeasure over the situation, the way she stood up for herself inspired songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David to write “Don’t Make Me Over,” and that became her very first single. In 2000 the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

2. “Anyone Who Had a Heart” (1963)

Warwick recorded this song at Bell Sound Studios in Manhattan in November 1963 during the same session she recorded “Walk on By,” and she nailed it in one take. The song became Warwick’s first top ten single in 1964, peaking at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

3. “Walk on By” (1964)

The potent combination of Warwick’s amazing voice and Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s songwriting led to a long string of hits for the talented trio. This Grammy nominated ballad peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

4. “What the World Needs Now is Love” (1966)

Warwick originally didn’t want to record this Bacharach/David song because she felt it was “too country,” so Jackie DeShannon recorded it and had a top ten hit with the song. Though it has been recorded by many other artists over the years, Warwick’s version remains a standout.

5. “Message to Michael” (1966)

This Bacharach/David composition has actually been recorded under different titles. Jerry Butler recorded it as “Message to Martha” and Lou Johnson released it as “Kentucky Bluebird.” British singer Adam Faith had a hit in the UK with it titled “Message to Martha (Kentucky Bluebird).” Marlene Dietrich’s version was titled “Kleine Treue Nachtigall,” which translates to “faithful little nightingale.” Dionne recorded the song as “Message to Michael” and took it to No. 8 on the Hot 100.

6. “Alfie” (1967)

Bacharach and David wrote this song for the film Alfie, which starred Michael Caine. The song became a hit in the UK for Cilla Black, and it was recorded by 40 other artists, including Cher, but it’s Warwick’s version that is considered the definitive recording of the poignant ballad. Warwick performed “Alfie” at the 39th Academy Awards in 1967. The song has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

7. “I Say a Little Prayer for You” (1967) Dionne Warwick songs

Fans of the 1997 Julia Roberts film My Best Friend’s Wedding will likely recall the restaurant scene where her BFF Rupert Everett leads the cast in a singalong of “I Say a Little Prayer for You.” One of Warwick’s best-loved hits, the song reached No. 4 on the Hot 100. Over the years, the song has been recorded by other artists, including Warwick’s friend Aretha Franklin.

8. “(Theme From) The Valley of the Dolls” (1967)

This song was written by Andre and Dory Previn for the film Valley of the Dolls, based on the Jaqueline Susann novel. The film’s star, Barbara Parkins, suggested Warwick sing the theme song. She did and released it as the B-side of her single “I Say a Little Prayer for You.” “Valley of the Dolls” peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 and No. 2 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

9. “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” (1968)

Warwick didn’t like this song and had to be convinced to record it. In a 1983 interview with Ebony magazine, she said: “It’s a dumb song and I didn’t want to sing it. But it was a hit, just like ‘Heartbreaker’ is. I’m happy these songs were successful, but that still doesn’t change my opinion about them.” But this was one of those special Dionne Warwick songs, and secured her first Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.

10. “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” (1969)

Bacharach and David penned this upbeat hit for the 1968 musical Promises, Promises after producer David Merrick asked them to write a song for the second act of the play. The song has been recorded by Johnny Mathis, Bobbie Gentry and Liz Anderson, who did a country version of the song.

It was Warwick who had the biggest hit, peaking at No. 6 on the Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Warwick also won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Vocal Performance. Above is a video of Warwick singing the song with Glen Campbell.

(Click through for 15 of the most beloved Glen Campbell songs).

11. “This Girl’s in Love with You” (1969) Dionne Warwick songs

This is another Bacharach/David composition that has been recorded by many artists, including Herb Alpert, Nancy Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Mottola, Eydie Gormé and Dusty Springfield. Warwick’s version climbed to No. 7 on the Hot 100 and also spent four weeks at No. 2 on the Easy Listening chart.

12. “Make it Easy on Yourself” (1970) Dionne Warwick songs

Warwick first recorded the demo for this song expecting it to be released as her debut single before the record company gave it to another artist. She initially released it on her debut album, Presenting Dionne Warwick, but it was a live version recorded at the Garden State Artists Center in her native New Jersey that became a hit. 

13. “Then Came You” (1974) Dionne Warwick songs

Written by Sherman Marshall and Phillip Pugh and produced by Thom Bell, this upbeat tune was a hit duet for Warwick and the Spinners. The song became Warwick’s first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and became her highest charting R&B hit of the 70s. The Grammy nominated song was also the first No. 1 hit for the Spinners and was certified as a gold record. It’s one of those Dionne Warwick songs that is timeless.

14. “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” (1979)

Written by Richard Kerr and Will Jennings, this soaring ballad is a perfect showcase for Warwick’s rich, warm vocals. This song was produced by Barry Manilow for Warwick’s Arista Records debut album Dionne.

After leaving Scepter Records, Warwick had signed to Warner Bros. Records and her career waned during that tenure, but this song brought her a new wave of popularity when it hit No. 5 on the Hot 100 and earned Warwick the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

15. “Déjà Vu” (1979) Dionne Warwick songs

Also produced by Barry Manilow and released on her Arista Records debut album Dionne — and one of the most sultry Dionne Warwick songs — was written by Isaac Hayes and Adrienne Anderson. Hayes had written the music while on the road with Warwick on their “A Man and a Woman” tour. Dionne heard the song and asked for a tape to play for Manilow, who recruited Anderson to write the lyrics.

The song peaked at No. 15 on the Hot 100 and hit No. 1 on Adult Contemporary chart. It also earned Warwick a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance. The same night, she also won the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, becoming the first female artist to win in both categories the same year.

16. “No Night So Long” (1980)

The title track of her second Arista album, this is another great song penned by Richard Kerr and Will Jennings, who wrote her comeback hit “I’ll Never Love This Way Again.” This uplifting song topped the Adult Contemporary chart for three weeks.

17. “Heartbreaker” (1982) Dionne Warwick songs

This song was written by the Bee Gees — brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb — and became the title track of Warwick’s hit 1982 album. Warwick has stated that she initially didn’t want to record the song, but Barry Gibb was so sure it would be a hit that he talked her into it. He was right. 

“Heartbreaker” became one of the most well-known Dionne Warwick songs and international hit, reaching the top ten in over a dozen countries and selling over four million singles worldwide. It peaked at No. 10 on the Hot 100 and became Warwick’s eighth No. 1 Adult Contemporary hit.

(See the Bee Gees in our sister site’s roundup of ’70s music heartthrobs).

18. “How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye” (1983)

This song was the title track for Warwick’s 1983 album, which was produced by her good friend Luther Vandross. Warwick and Vandross recorded this tender ballad about a failing relationship as a duet and it became a No. 4 hit on the Adult Contemporary chart. Vandross also included the song on his 1983 album Busy Body.

19. “That’s What Friends are For” (1985) Dionne Warwick songs

Written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, this is one of the Dionne Warwick songs that was originally recorded by Rod Stewart for the film Night Shift. However, when Warwick recorded the song with Gladys Knight, Elton John and Stevie Wonder, it became a huge international hit.

In the US, it topped the Adult Contemporary chart for two weeks, the soul chart for three weeks and the Hot 100 for four weeks. It won the Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group and was also named Song of the Year. Most importantly, all proceeds from the song benefited AIDS research and it has raised millions to help those affected. The video is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

20. “Peace Like a River” with Dolly Parton (2023)

This beautiful gospel was written by Dolly Parton and produced by Dionne’s son Damon Elliott, and will be included on Dionne’s upcoming gospel album. Though both legendary entertainers have been fans of each other’s work for years, this song marks the first time they’ve worked together.

“We were there to take care of our business, but along with that, we found time to not only smile but outright laugh,” Warwick said of the filming the video. “Dolly is very, very grounded — which I was thrilled about — but she’s also very business, which I happen to be about as well. So, it felt like two peas in a pod.”

21. “I Kneel” with her son Damon Elliott (2023)

Dionne is the mother of two very talented sons (David and Damon) and she joins forces with her son Damon on this beautiful gospel song. Damon is an Academy Award nominated writer/producer/vocalist who has worked with artists from multiple genres, including Billy Ray Cyrus, Destiny’s Child, Jessica Simpson and P!nk. This song will be included on Warwick’s upcoming gospel album.

For more top songs throughout the decades, keep reading!

15 Soul-Stirring Gospel Songs That Are Guaranteed To Lift Your Spirits

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20 Greatest Country Love Songs of the Past 50 Years

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