Carl Douglas

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Carl Douglas
Birth nameCarlton George Douglas
Born (1942-05-10) 10 May 1942 (age 82)
Kingston, Jamaica
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active1964–present

Carlton George Douglas (born 10 May 1942) is a Jamaican-British singer best known for his 1974 disco single "Kung Fu Fighting".

Based in the United Kingdom, Douglas released three studio albums, most notably Kung Fu Fighting and Other Great Love Songs (1975), before fading into cultural obscurity as a one-hit wonder.

Early life[edit]

Douglas was born in Kingston. He later lived in the U.S. state of California before relocating to London as a teenager.[1] He spent his childhood in England playing football, and vocal training. In his youth, he developed a passion for soul music (citing Sam Cooke and Otis Redding as his biggest influences) and a trained tenor voice, which he would display in church singing various religious songs.[2]


Douglas's career was based in the United Kingdom. His disco single "Kung Fu Fighting", produced by British-Indian songwriter, composer, and producer Biddu, ranked number one on both the UK Singles Chart and the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. The single sold 11 million copies worldwide,[3] making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. The single was later certified gold by the RIAA on 27 November 1974.[4]

The single, which is a homage to martial arts films, overshadowed the rest of Douglas' 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 commonly known only for "Kung Fu Fighting" (its follow-up "Dance the Kung Fu" did not chart on the top 40). 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,[5] 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' vocals, peaked at number 8 on the UK Singles Chart.[6]

The single "Dance the Kung Fu" was sampled on "Cuda nie widy" from the 2001 album Nibylandia by Polish group Ego, 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.[7]



Year Title Chart positions
1974 Kung Fu Fighting and Other Great Love Songs 37 1 40
1977 Love Peace and Happiness
1978 Keep Pleasing Me
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Title Chart positions Certifications

1964 "Crazy Feeling"
(with The Big Stampede)
1968 "Serving a Sentence of Life"
1969 "Eeny Meeny"
1972 "Somebody Stop This Madness"
1974 "Kung Fu Fighting" 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 1 3 1 2 1 1 1
"Dance the Kung Fu" 19 8 5 7 35 48 8
"Blue Eyed Soul" 25
1977 "Shanghai'd"
"Run Back" 45 25
1998 "Kung Fu Fighting"
(re-issue with Bus Stop)
15 22 25 12 1 8
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chart position is from the official UK "Breakers List".


  1. ^ Thompson, Dave (2001). Funk. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. pp. 117–118. ISBN 0-87930-629-7 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Carl douglas a Jamaican Veteran. Sample August 2011". YouTube. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  3. ^ Ellis, James. "Biddu". Metro. Archived from the original on 2 September 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  4. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 344. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  5. ^ "Eric Woolfson: Singer and songwriter with the Alan Parsons Project | Obituaries | News". The Independent. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 167. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  7. ^ "SMV | Schacht Musikverlage". Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d Huey, Steve. "Carl Douglas | Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 21 May 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  9. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 93. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Song artist 778 - Carl Douglas". Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  11. ^ a b c "Carl Douglas Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography". Music VF. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  12. ^ "CARL DOUGLAS - full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  13. ^ "Carl Douglas - Kung Fu Fighting". Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  14. ^ "Bus Stop Ft Carl Douglas - Kung Fu Fighting". Retrieved 15 January 2022.