First recorded by George Benson in 1977, Whitney Houston brought the song back to life in 1985 with the release of her debut album Whitney Houston. One year later, Houston's version would climb the Billboard's Hot 100 chart, settling at the No. 1 for a 3-week stay.
Not only was this song a commercial hit, it also became the starting point of her superstar career. As the legend goes, Arista Records President Clive Davis first chanced on Houston performing at a New York night club performing this incredible cover of the Michael Masser-penned tune.
"Whitney sang the song with such fervor, with such a natural vocal gift, with such passion, that I was stunned. I knew really right then and there that this was a special talent and I was blown away by her," reminisced Davis. "As I reflect back on this, I can relive the experience for the very first time."
Though Davis didn't want to include "Greatest Love of All" on her debut album, album producer Masser and Houston convinced him to include the track on the record. Following its unstoppable popularity on the airwaves, Houston released the song as a single in March 1986.
"Greatest Love of All" ascended to No.1 on the charts by May 1986 and would stay there for a three-week run before being Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald's "On My Own" would replace the tune.