Carl Douglas

Carl Douglas
Release date
01 January 1970
Carl Douglas
01 January 1970 |

Douglas’s career was based in the United Kingdom. His single “Kung Fu Fighting” ranked number one on both the U.K. Singles Chart and the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. The single sold 11 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. The single was later certified gold by the RIAA on 27 November 1974.

The single, which is a homage to martial arts films, has overshadowed the rest of Douglas’s career, and has led to his appearance on other artists’ versions of the song. In the United States, Douglas is considered a one-hit wonder, since he is only known for “Kung Fu Fighting” and the follow-up “Dance the Kung Fu” did not crack the Top 40. However, in the United Kingdom, two of his other singles made it into the Top 40: “Dance the Kung Fu”, which peaked at number 35 in the charts, and “Run Back”, which peaked at number 25.

Douglas was once managed by Eric Woolfson, who later became the primary songwriter behind The Alan Parsons Project.

In 1998, a re-recording of “Kung Fu Fighting”, performed by British dance act Bus Stop and which featured Douglas’s vocals, peaked at number 8 in the UK Singles Chart.

The single “Dance the Kung Fu”, was sampled on “Cuda nie widy” from 2001 album Nibylandia, and later by DJ Premier on his 2007 remix of Nike’s 25th Air Force One anniversary single “Classic (Better Than I’ve Ever Been)”, featuring Kanye West, Nas, KRS-One, and Rakim.

Douglas is represented by music publisher Schacht Musikverlage (SMV) in Hamburg, Germany.

In 2008, CeeLo Green covered “Kung-Fu Fighting” for the soundtrack of Kung Fu Panda.