Shania Twain with Lionel RichieThe year was 1981. The movie was Endless Love starring Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt. It was a movie about two young kids in forbidden love who, despite the obstacles and tragedies that came with their union, find themselves forever in love. If you heard the song title song fromthe soundtrack, “Endless Love”, you knew this going into the movie.
The song “Endless Love” hit number 1 in the Billboard charts and stayed at that position for 7 weeks. The song was written by Lionel Richie and was a recorded duet with Richie and song legend Diana Ross. At this time Lionel Richie was hot with his own solo career after leaving the Commodores and Ross was, well, Diana Ross legendary lead singer of the Supremes. This duet could be nothing but a hit and this was proven when Billboard Magazine named “Endless Love” the greatest duet of all time. Over the years “Endless Love” would be covered a few times, first by Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey and next by Kenny Rogers. Neither version would reach the popularity or notoriety of the original.
Now, in 2011, Lionel Richie is taking another turn at his original hit, however, this time he’s got a new partner for the duet: Shania Twain. The two singers recorded the song, in what appears to be a bedroom or hotel, for Twain’s reality show “Why Not? With Shania Twain”. The song will appear in the final episode of the season on June 19 at 10pm on OWN I which Twain marries. Twain’s last album, “Up”, was released 8 years ago and after that hiatus from recording this is just the start. Twain’s first single, “Today is Your Day”, will be released after the show ends. A full album featuring both songs should be released in the future.
The star power behind this remake, gives “Endless Love” the potential to be a hit once again. With Lionel Richie added to the mix, listeners will obviously compare the song to the original. This newer version of “Endless Love” has a slight country twang to it which makes the song noticeably different from the original R&B hit. Twain’s vocals dominate a little more than Ross’ did in the original and no matter how well the talent you can never duplicate the magic of that original. The pairing of Twain and Richie does give the “Endless Love” a chance to appeal to a broader audience once again and continue to be listed in the book of great duet as a timeless, if not endless, classic.
Kenny Walker Jr.