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The Greatest Love of All

Lyrics – The Greatest Love Of All – Whitney Houston

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

Everybody’s searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfilled my needs
A lonely place to be
And so I learned to depend on me

[Chorus:]

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

[Chorus]

And if, by chance, that special place
That you’ve been dreaming of
Leads you to a lonely place
Find your strength in love

Enjoy This Video of The Greatest Love of All

Some Facts About “The Greatest Love of All”

“The Greatest Love of All” is a song written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed and originally recorded by George Benson for the 1977 Muhammad Ali biopic “The Greatest”. The song was later popularized by Whitney Houston. Creed wrote the lyrics in the midst of her struggle with breast cancer. The words describe her feelings about coping with great challenges that one must face in life, being strong during those challenges whether you succeed or fail, and passing that strength on to children to carry with them into their adult lives. Linda Creed eventually succumbed to the disease in April 1986 at the age of 37; at the time her song was an international hit by Whitney Houston.

The song received critical acclaim and became a big hit, topping the charts in Australia, Canada and the US, while reaching the top 20 in most countries, including Italy, Sweden and UK. It remains her third biggest US hit, after “I Will Always Love You” and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)”. All three songs, in order of their former popularity, re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart, after Houston’s death, debuting the same week at numbers 7, 35 and 41, respectively, giving Houston three posthumous chart hits.

Clive Davis, founder of Houston’s label Arista Records, was initially against Houston recording the song for her debut studio album, Whitney Houston, but he eventually gave in after persuasion from Houston and Masser. The song was eventually released as a single in its own right.

Whitney Houston’s album version features a piano intro, while the single version begins with a keyboard intro. After the single became a success, it replaced the original album version on subsequent pressings of the album. However, the original version was restored for the 2010 Deluxe Anniversary Edition reissue of the album.

Many critics called the song the centerpiece of Houston’s debut album. Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote that “Houston sings it with a forceful directness that gives its message of self-worth an astounding resonance and conviction” and called the song a compelling assertion of spiritual devotion, black pride, and family loyalty, all at once.

Don Shewey of Rolling Stone wrote that as the song builds, Houston “slowly pours on the soul, slips in some churchy phrasing, holds notes a little longer and shows off her glorious voice.”

However, some reviewers were more critical. Describing Houston’s performance as “straight-faced”, Armond White wrote that “we had laughed at that song during the seventies as a mawkish ode to self-involvement, not dreaming it would ever be taken seriously. But last year we laughed again, nervously, because Houston seemed to be using it as a theme song for her own aggressive ambition.”

Benson’s 1977 version was an R&B hit, reaching #2 on the R&B chart. It was a moderate pop hit, making the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Houston’s version reached number one on the Hot 100 chart for three weeks in 1986. The single was the fourth hit (and third #1) from her debut album. To date, this song was her second longest stay atop this chart, behind 1992’s “I Will Always Love You.” The song also reached number one on both component charts, the Hot 100 Singles Sales and the Hot 100 Airplay, her second consecutive release to do so, and stayed for 14 weeks inside the top 40.

Houston’s single fared well globally as well, reaching No. 8 in the United Kingdom and the top ten or No. 1 in several other European countries. It became her first No. 1 single in Australia. After her death, the single returned to the Billboard Hot 100, debuting at number 41. The song has sold over 2 million copies worldwide.
Houston won the American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Video, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Record of the Year and a Soul Train Music Award for Single of the Year.

Controversy

In April 1987, Gordon Lightfoot filed a lawsuit against Michael Masser, alleging that Masser’s song “The Greatest Love of All” stole twenty-four bars from Lightfoot’s 1969 hit “If You Could Read My Mind.” According to Maclean’s, Lightfoot commented, “It really rubbed me the wrong way. I don’t want the present-day generation to think that I stole my song from him.”

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