If you have young kids in the neighborhood.
If you were a young kid in the 1990s, you know this song.
That’s because “A Whole New World” is the title track to Disney’s animated 1992 film, Aladdin, that has earned more than $500 million dollars worldwide. That’s half-a-billion dollars for an animated movie.
That’s simply astounding.
It’s also the kind of broad reach and wide appeal that can transform the hit song from a movie sung by unknown actors Brad Kane and Lea Salonga into a Billboard number one song. All you need to add is a little Regina Belle and a lot of Peabo Bryson.
That’s exactly what happened with “A Whole New World” by Regina Belle and Peabo Bryson. They released a single version of “A Whole New World” in late 1992 and the song rocketed up the charts and bumped off Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” after an equally astounding 14 weeks as the number one song in the land.
Fourteen weeks at number one. That’s a whole month longer than “You Light Up My Life” by Debby Boone. Whitney Houston should be proud. And Dolly Parton is definitely wealthy after writing “I Will Always Love You” and enjoying royalty checks since 1992.
“A Whole New World” didn’t stay at number one quite as long. But it did manage to secure a Grammy Award, an Academy Award for “Best Song” and a whole bunch of other Grammy, Oscar and MTV nominations. In the process, “A Whole New World” turned Regina Belle into a one-hit wonder.
Listen to A Whole New World – Regina Belle and Peabo Bryson
Bottom line: “A Whole New World” was huge and Aladdin was even huger (I’m using huger here because big and bigger simply don’t seem to be big enough to cover the cultural impact of both of these pieces of media for kids in the 1990s, 2000s and probably then next 100 years).
Regina Belle never again reached the Billboard Top 40. But her legacy is cemented in the Disney canon. Which means her song will pretty much live forever.
Never underestimate the power of a love song or the Disney studios.
Buy A Whole New World by Regina Belle and Peabo Bryson
Filed under: 1990s, Pop · Tags: #1, #1 hit, #1 song, 1993, 90s one hit wonder love song, A Whole New World, academy award, Aladdin, Billboard number one hit, Disney, Grammy Award, Love Song, number one song, one hit wonder love song, one-hit wonder ballad, Peabo Bryson, Regina Belle, Song of the Year Grammy Award