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Lionel Richie & Diana Ross’ ‘Endless Love’ Tops Whitney Houston, Prince, & Celine Dion on Billboard’s ‘Greatest Movie Songs’ List

Written by on March 22, 2023

Like ‘Rolling Stone,’ music industry Bible ‘Billboard’ is no stranger to earning mixed reviews for their ‘best ever’ lists –  from readers and super fans of music history’s biggest names alike.

While many are still side-eyeing RS for their ‘200 Greatest Singers’ tally from January, chatter in that same disapproving vein is growing toward Billboard for their recently published ‘Top 65 Movie Songs of All Time.’

Despite tough competition from the likes of Prince‘s ‘When Doves Cry’ (‘Purple Rain‘), John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John‘s ‘You’re the One That I Want’ (‘Grease‘), Bee Gees‘ ‘Stayin’ Alive’ (‘Saturday Night Fever‘), Whitney Houston‘s ‘I Will Always Love You’ (‘The Bodyguard‘), and many more top movie hits, Motown legends Lionel Richie and Diana Ross took the top spot with their enduring classic ‘Endless Love’ from the 1981 Brook Shields movie of the same name.

The most successful duet of all time, the tune spent a whopping 9 weeks atop the Hot 100 at the height of its popularity (making it the biggest hit of both stars’ careers).

Billboard’s Top 10 Movie Songs of All Time

Lionel Richie & Diana Ross, ‘Endless Love’ in ‘Endless Love’

Bryan Adams, “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” in ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’

Bee Gees, “How Deep Is Your Love” in ‘Saturday Night Fever’

Survivor, “Eye of the Tiger” in ‘Rocky III’

Irene Cara, “Flashdance…What A Feeling” in ‘Flashdance’

Bee Gees, “Night Fever” in ‘Saturday Night Fever’

Whitney Houston, “I Will Always Love You” in ‘The Bodyguard’

Boyz II Men, “End Of The Road” in ‘Boomerang’

Blondie, “Call Me” in ‘American Gigolo’

Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive” in ‘Saturday Night Fever’

Fans didn’t waste time heavily disagreeing with some of the placements of Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Prince, and others, while some critics scoffed at the omission of songs like ‘My Heart Will Go On’ (Dion), ‘Purple Rain‘ (Prince), ‘Over the Rainbow’ (Judy Garland), ‘(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life’ (Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes), and Disney classics like ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (Dion & Peabo Bryson), ‘When You Believe’ (Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston), ‘A Whole New World‘ (Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle), and ‘Colors of the Wind‘ (Vanessa Williams).

Unlike their counterparts, Billboard preceded their rankings with a disclaimer that the positioning of the entries didn’t lean on critics’ choice but instead on the tunes’ “actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart.”

And while hits like Houston’s ‘Love’ and Boyz II Men‘s ‘End of the Road’ may have spent a longer time at the Hot 100’s summit than ‘Endless Love’ (with Whitney’s 14-week stay being one of the longest in history), the inverse point system the magazine used relied on a weighted approach to “ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from each era” – thereby placing Lionel and Diana at the top.

Click here to see the full list and find out if your favorite movie song made the cut.


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