In 1981, film director Franco Zeffirelli and movie producer Jon Peters asked Commodores member Lionel Richie to compose a title theme for the Brooke Shields movie Endless Love. Richie let Zeffirelli hear an instrumental track that was rejected by his bandmates for their next album. The director suggested that the singer/producer write lyrics and a lead melody for the track and that it be used as the basis for a duet between him and Diana Ross.Ross had just severed her 20-year relationship with Motown Records and had just signed with RCA Records. Because of their packed schedules, Richie and Ross, who'd obtained permission from RCA, had to record their vocals during predawn three a.m. sessions in Reno, NV. Selling over two million copies, "Endless Love" topped the R&B charts for seven weeks, the pop charts for nine weeks, and the adult contemporary charts for three weeks during the summer of 1981. Oddly the sprinty Ross/Richie duet "Dreaming of You" was never issued as the follow-up single. The Endless Love soundtrack went gold, reaching number nine pop. Like Diana Ross & the Supremes' "The Happening," the title track of Endless Love was far more successful than the movie itself, which was a box-office flop. A Luther Vandross/Mariah Carey cover of the song went to number two pop and number seven R&B in the fall of 1994.