The song debuted at #42 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of September 2, 1989, soaring to the #1 spot within four weeks, where it remained for four weeks.
It was the biggest airplay hit of the year and fifth biggest overall. It also topped Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts.
The song was the second best-selling single of the year, behind only Phil Collins' song "Another Day in Paradise".
It reached number 2 in Canada and New Zealand, and the top twenty of Australia, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. It peaked within the top twenty five in the United Kingdom, although its accompanying album reached the top five.
The song sold over four million copies, becoming one of the biggest-selling songs of the year.
The video for "Miss You Much" was directed by Dominic Sena and choreographed by Anthony Thomas.
It was filmed in August of 1989 as part of the long-form "Rhythm Nation 1814" film. The black-and-white video begins with dancers gathered at a pool hall, gossiping about Janet and her boyfriend.
Janet enters the room as her dancers suddenly become quiet and look at her. One dancer asks her what she has been doing lately. She jokingly responds before demonstrating her love through song and dance.
The end of the video cuts out a final dance routine performed with chairs, choreographed by Terry Bixler.
The video's choreography and chair routine are regarded as iconic in popular culture. The chair routine is available on the "Rhythm Nation" compilation DVD.
"Miss You Much" received two American Music Awards for "Favorite Dance Single" and "Favorite Soul/R&B Single" along with Janet also being nominated for "Favorite Dance Artist."
It also received two Grammy nominations for "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance" and "Best R&B Song." The single also won a Billboard Award for "Top Hot 100 Single of the Year" and a Soul Train Music Award for "Best Female R&B Single."