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A Whole New World – Regina Belle and Peabo Bryson

If you have young kids in the house.

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.

Click to hear more Billboard number one songs

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.

Click to hear more Grammy Award one-hit wonders

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

Written by

I'm an obsessive music collector, cataloger, commenter and trivia nut. Sometimes I'm even a listener. One-hit wonders have always been a guilty pleasure.

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One Response to "A Whole New World – Regina Belle and Peabo Bryson"

  1. Ogre Mage says:

    My high school choir (which I played piano for) sung this song at my graduation back in 1993, and while I hated the choir, hated high school and hated the song (at the time) I must admit this Bryson/Belle duet has held up pretty well over time. Kiddies who loved the movie surely bought it and their parents must have appreciated the “Quiet Storm” feel compared to the Kane/Salonga version. Good crossover appeal to the pop, R&B and adult contemporary market. I went to school in an urban setting where Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg were popular and this tune was well liked by many in my choir — surprising for a Disney song.

    P.S. I really like your site!

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