Like many, Luther Vandross was enthralled with Aretha Franklin's string of hits on Atlantic Records that included 17 number one R&B singles. Many years later, Vandross had amassed his own hits, and he stated in interviews that he'd love to produce Franklin. Arista Records president Clive Davis heard about the singer/songwriter/producer's request and contacted him since Franklin was signed to the label. During their first conversation, Franklin told Vandross that she loved his "Never Too Much" and his stunning cover of the Dionne Warwick standard "A House Is Not a Home." While appearing on NBC-TV's Saturday Night Live, Vandross and his frequent collaborator Marcus Miller began working on a song idea on a piano that was sitting in a hallway, waiting to be stored.
While Franklin's Arista sides up to that point had been relatively mellow ("Break It to Me Gently," a cover of the Doobie Brothers' "What a Fool Believes," and "Love All the Hurt Away," a ballad duet with George Benson), the Vandross/Miller song "Jump to It" returned Franklin to a much more jubilant, energetic vein. Her first Arista chart-topping single, "Jump to It" stayed at number one R&B for four weeks while going to number 24 pop in late 1981. The Jump To It LP also yielded the Top 30 R&B hit "Love Me Right" and "This Is for Real."