“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.
The song ranks at number 13 on Billboard’s All Time Top 100.
Ross and Richie recorded the song for the Motown Records, 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 Pop chart, 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.
The song was also one of the most popular wedding dedication songs in the 1980’s.