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Endless Love (song): Wikis


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"Endless Love"
Single by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
from the album Endless Love: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Released August 1981
Format 7" single
Genre Pop
Length 4:24
Label Motown
Writer(s) Lionel Richie
Producer Lionel Richie
Diana Ross chronology
"Cryin' My Heart out for You"
"Endless Love"
"Medley of Hits"
Lionel Richie chronology
"Endless Love"

"Endless Love" is a song originally recorded as a duet between soul singers Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, who wrote the song. In this ballad, the singers declare their "endless love" for one another. It was covered by soul singer Luther Vandross with pop/R&B singer Mariah Carey, and also by country music singer Kenny Rogers.


About the record

Ross and Richie recorded the song for Motown, and it was used as the theme for the film Endless Love starring Brooke Shields. Produced by Richie and arranged by Gene Page, it was released as a single from the film's soundtrack in 1981. While the film Endless Love was a failure, the song became the second biggest-selling single of the year (first was "Physical" by Olivia Newton-John) in the U.S. and landed at number 1 on Billboard's Hot 100, where it stayed for nine weeks from August 9 to October 10, 1981. It also topped the Billboard R&B chart and the Adult Contemporary chart, and landed at number 7 in the UK.

The soulful composition became the biggest-selling single of Ross' career, while it was one of several hits for Richie as the 1980s progressed. Ross recorded a solo version of the song for her first RCA Records album, Why Do Fools Fall in Love?, but the famous version was her last hit on Motown. The song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for Richie, and was the second song with which Ross was involved that was nominated for an Oscar. It also won a 1982 American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Single.

The song was included in Adam Sandler's movie Happy Gilmore when Happy and his girlfriend Virginia are ice skating, and the song begins to play. Virginia says to Happy "I thought we were just going to be friends." To which he responds, "Friends listen to Endless Love in the dark."

The song was included as well in the third season of Friends, in which Phoebe walks into Chandler and Joey´s flat, just to find Chandler singing the song and holding Lionel Ritchie's first album, even though the song is included in his fourth album, Back to Front and also in a special 1981 single.[1]

On an episode of The Steve Harvey Show, Steve and Regina perform the song at a janitor's urging (who thought they were Ross and Richie); at the end of the song, the janitor quips "no wonder you guys haven't had a hit in a while."

The song was also one of the most popular wedding dedication songs in the 1980s.


Chart (1981) Peak
Dutch Singles Chart 10
Norwegian Singles Chart 8
Swedish Singles Chart 5
Swiss Singles Chart 6
UK Singles Chart 7
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary 1
U.S. Billboard Black Singles 1
Preceded by
"Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single (Ross/Richie version)
August 15, 1981 - October 10, 1981
Succeeded by
"Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" by Christopher Cross
Preceded by
"I'm in Love" by Evelyn King
Billboard Hot Soul Singles number-one single (Ross/Ritchie version)
August 22, 1981 - October 3, 1981
Succeeded by
"When She Was My Girl" by The Four Tops"
Preceded by
"You Drive Me Crazy" by Shakin' Stevens
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single (Ross/Ritchie version)
October 5, 1981 - October 26, 1981
Succeeded by
"You Weren't in Love with Me" by Billy Field

Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey version

"Endless Love"
Single by Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey
from the album Songs
Released August 29, 1994 (1994-08-29)
Format CD single, cassette single, 7" single
Genre Pop
Length 4:21
Label Epic
Writer(s) Lionel Richie
Producer Walter Afanasieff
Certification Platinum (Australia)
Gold (New Zealand, U.S.)
Luther Vandross chronology
"Always and Forever"
"Endless Love"
"Going in Circles"
Mariah Carey chronology
"Anytime You Need a Friend"
"Endless Love"
"All I Want for Christmas Is You"

Walter Afanasieff produced Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey's cover of the song for Vandross' Epic Records-released album Songs, and it is known for being Carey's first "high-profile" duet (an earlier duet, "I'll Be There," was with the then-unknown background singer Trey Lorenz). At the 1995 Grammy Awards, the song was nominated in the new category of Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals, losing to "Funny How Time Slips Away" by Al Green and Lyle Lovett. Columbia Records later included the song on Carey's compilation album Greatest Hits (2001) and then again on her next compilation album, The Ballads (2008). It was released as the second single from Songs in 1994.



Sony Music Entertainment President Tommy Mottola suggested that Vandross record Songs, an album of cover versions. Featuring Vandross' versions of songs like Stephen Stills' "Love the One You're With," Heatwave's "Always and Forever," and Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly," the album was shaping up to be a major career accomplishment. To give the album a bigger boost, Mottola's wife, Mariah Carey, came up with the idea to remake "Endless Love" as a duet with her. Lionel Richie and Diana Ross had originally recorded "Endless Love" in 1981, and the song spent nine weeks at number 1. Although Luther's album was already set to contain one Lionel Richie composition, "Hello," it was obvious that having the most-popular female singer on the Sony label singing on the album would be a benefit.[2]

Chart performance

"Endless Love" debuted on September 10, 1994 at 31 and peaked at number two. The song became Luther Vandross' biggest pop hit ever and gave Lionel Richie his first top ten as a songwriter in seven years. It became Vandross's fifth top ten single and Carey's twelfth. It remained in the top forty for thirteen weeks, and was ranked number 56 on the Hot 100 1994 year-end charts. It was also an improvement over Carey's previous single, "Anytime You Need a Friend," which had missed the top ten. It was certified gold by the RIAA.

The song was a success outside the U.S, reaching the top of the chart in New Zealand (for five weeks) and the top five in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and the Netherlands. It also reached the top twenty in most of the countries. It was certified gold in Australia by ARIA and in New Zealand by RIANZ.

Music video and other versions

Two music videos were released for the single; one features Carey and Vandross recording the song in a studio, and the other shows the two performing the song live at Royal Albert Hall. The latter performance is included on the Luther Vandross: From Luther with Love music video collection in DVD format.

Some versions of the song itself were released, in which Carey or Vandross sings solo.

It has been sung by John O'Connell.

The song was also covered by contestant Laura White on UK singing competition The X Factor, during a Mariah Carey themed week. Despite receiving high praise from Carey herself and most of the show's judges, Laura was eliminated, leading to huge controversy in the UK media.

The Sean Hannity Show occasionally plays a mashup of this song with clips of various news outlets' coverage of President Barack Obama to demonstrate what Hannity felt was overly positive coverage of Obama.

The song was covered in an episode of the Fox TV series Glee by Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison. The episode is entitled Ballad.


Chart (1994) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[3] 2
Austrian Singles Chart[4] 13
Canadian Singles Chart[5] 14
Dutch Singles Chart[6] 6
European Singles Chart[7] 7
Finnish Singles Chart[8] 11
French Singles Chart[9] 12
German Singles Chart[10] 14
Irish Singles Chart[11] 4
New Zealand Singles Chart[12] 1
Norwegian Singles Chart[13] 6
Swedish Singles Chart[14] 10
Swiss Singles Chart[15] 6
UK Singles Chart[16] 3
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[17] 2
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks[18] 11
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[19] 7

Sales and certifications

Provider Sales Certification
Australia 75,000+ Platinum
New Zealand 7,500+ Gold
United States 500,000+ Gold

Other cover versions

Live cover performances

The song has been performed three times on American Idol, by Rickey Smith, Chris Sligh, and Danny Gokey. The song was also performed on Australian Idol in 2007 by eventual winner Natalie Gauci on the Final 7 Birth Year theme night.

See also



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