Gwen Guthrie (July 9, 1950 – February 3, 1999) was an American singer-songwriter and pianist, who also sang backing vocals for Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Peter Tosh, and Madonna, among others, and who wrote songs made famous by Ben E. King, Angela Bofill and Roberta Flack.
Guthrie is probably best known for her 1986 dance anthem “Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ on But the Rent”, a self-written and produced track which garnered some controversy for its materialistic lyrics such as, “You’ve got to have a j-o-b if you want to be with me/No romance without finance”. A literal reading suggests a man only require the finances to make a relationship work. However, Guthrie’s lyrics intend to motivate her partner into being responsible for maintaining equality and financial stability.
Her single “Can’t Love You Tonight” boldly addressed AIDS at a time when the disease was a taboo subject. Guthrie was an ally to the gay community, and to people with AIDS long before the masses caught up. Proceeds from the single went to the AIDS Coalition.
“Can’t Love You Tonight” was written and produced by Gwen, co-produced by Sly Dunbar and mixed by Steven “Youthsound” Stanley,
Can’t Love You Tonight (Extended Remix) 5:37
Can’t Love You Tonight (Edit) 4:08
The Surgeon General’s Funky 4/4 Beat 4:37
Can’t Love You Tonight (Dub) 6:04