Stephanie Mills

What Cha Gonna Do with My Lovin'

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When Stephanie Mills enjoyed a major commercial breakthrough with her third album, What Cha Gonna Do with My Lovin', the singer often found herself being described as a disco diva -- and it wasn't a description that she agreed with. Mills saw herself as primarily a romantic R&B traditionalist, not a disco singer. If you asked her whether she had more in common with Gladys Knight or Donna Summer, Mills would have said Gladys Knight without a moment's hesitation. Nonetheless, this superb LP (which was produced by the James Mtume/Reggie Lucas team) does contain its share of dance-oriented treasures; "Don't Stop Dancin'," "You Can Get Over," and the hit "Put Your Body in It" are disco funk classics that heated up numerous dancefloors in 1979. Mills is equally impressive on romantic ballads and slow jams like "Deeper Inside Your Love," "Starlight," "You and I," and Peabo Bryson's "Feel the Fire" -- and in various interviews, she insisted that those songs were more representative of her than the album's dance-oriented material. At any rate, What Cha Gonna Do with My Lovin' remains one of Mills' strongest, most essential albums.