“Three Times a Lady” is a song by American soul group the Commodores, from their 1978 album Natural High. It was produced by James Anthony Carmichael and the Commodores. It was also the only Motown song to reach the Top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 that year and the Commodores’s first Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit, topping the chart for two weeks on August 12, 1978 and also went to number one the soul chart for two weeks. The song spent three weeks at #1 on the adult contemporary chart.
The song also reached #1 on the Canadian RPM Singles Chart for four weeks, and was one of only a few Motown singles to reach the top spot in the UK Singles Chart, staying there for five weeks. The song was also successful in Ireland, staying at #1 in the charts for three consecutive weeks. It was #1 in Australia for five weeks, and reached #2 in New Zealand.
The original Commodores’ version of the song was included as the final track on Lionel Richie’s greatest hits compilation album Back To Front, released in 1992.
In an appearance on The Early Show on June 12, 2009, Lionel Richie said he was inspired to write the song because of a comment his father made about his mother. His father said to his mother “I love you. I want you. I need you. Forever” hence the three times a lady.