“I Love Your Smile” by Shanice

The song “I Love Your Smile” sees a young Shanice totally overcome by the infatuation she has for a classmate of hers. Her feelings for this boy are so strong she can’t think of anything other than him – especially his smile.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Shanice's I Love Your Smile at Lyrics.org.

Lyrics of “I Love Your Smile”

The dropping of “I Love Your Smile” harps back to a day when it was still taboo for American-female teenagers to present themselves as sexual beings in the music industry. So even though this song was dropped by the time Shanice was 18, she had already been in the game for a few years.

Furthermore, it can be easily gleaned that a conscientious effort was made by the writers to give this track a sort of puppy love feel. However, there are also adult references and innuendos embedded, thus giving the song a wider applicability.

So what we are met with in terms of the dichotomy mentioned above is a first verse which reads like it is being relayed by a high school student, while the second is from the perspective of what appears to be a young lady fully entrenched in the workforce.

But the message throughout is consistent. She has become smitten with the addressee, despite him having rivals in terms of securing her affection. And what she loves about him most specifically is his smile. 

All the song’s lyrics considered, this wouldn’t only be Shanice being physically attracted to the addressee per se. Rather, it is something about the way he smiles which not only makes her want to get closer but also, it would seem, trust this particular guy.

“I Love Your Smile’

So as revealed in the bridge, they do eventually strike up a romance, with the vocalist becoming even more dedicated to the addressee than prior. Indeed, going back to the first verse, there are a number of “bad boys” trying to hook up with Shanice, and she also implies in the bridge that she’s cognizant of her own shortcomings. But being with the addressee, this good guy if you will, has ‘taught her’ that she too ‘can be a better girl’.

And there are other intricacies found in this narrative, such as the singer going through spells where she feels that her love isn’t being reciprocated. But that particular factor is mentioned in the rap section, which wasn’t even included on some radio versions of this song and which you have to kinda strain to hear what Shanice is saying anyway.

More to the point this is more or less a straightforward love song, though reflecting, shall we say, the musings of a young, independent woman. Said woman has become smitten with the apple of her eye for the most innocent of reasons in a manner of speaking – that being how his smile affects her.

Facts about “I Love Your Smile”

Shanice collaborated with three songwriters to compose “I Love Your Smile”. Who are these songwriters? We hear you ask! One of them is the noted American singer and songwriter Narada Michael Walden. The other two are Sylvester Jackson and Jarvis Baker.

Walden not only co-wrote this song, but he also took charge of its production.

This love song was the first single released from Shanice’s 1991 album Inner Child. Inner Child was Shanice’s second studio album. It was released on November 19, 1991.

American singer Chris Brown sampled this song in his 2019 song “Undecided“.

The iconic American jazz instrumentalist, Branford Marsalis, plays the famous saxophone solo on “I Love Your Smile”.

The laughter you hear towards the tail end of the song is from American singer Janet Jackson and Mexican dancer René Elizondo Jr. At the time of the recording of this song, Janet Jackson and René Elizondo Jr. were married to each other. Their marriage lasted from 1991 to 2000.

This song was massively successful around the world. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it made its way to the enviable position of number 2. It also topped the US Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs. To date, it is Shanice’s most successful song in the United States. In the United Kingdom, it reached number 2. Furthermore, it entered the top 5 in many countries, including Germany, Canada, Sweden and Switzerland.

This is one of Shanice’s most famous songs of her entire career.

On May 25, 1992, Shanice made history on the late night talk show The Tonight Show with Jay Leno by becoming the first artist to perform on the show. She sang this song live during that performance.

Shanice was 18 years old when she wrote and released this track.

The original version of this song features a rap by Shanice. However, since rap wasn’t popular in the early 1990s, the rap was edited out to create a new version. At that time, most radio stations refused playing songs that contained rap in them.

What was the release date of “I Love Your Smile”?

The song’s official release date was October 22, 1991. It was released through Motown Records.

Are there any cover versions of this song?

Yes, there are. Some of the artists that have released covers of this classic include: Tiffany Evans and Kaori Kobayashi.

Did “I Love Your Smile” ever win a Grammy Award?

No. Nonetheless, at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards in 1993 in the category of the Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female. It lost the award to Chaka Khan’s “The Woman I Am”.

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