“A Whole New World” was written by Alan Menken and Sir Tim Rice for the 1992 Disney animated version of ‘Aladdin’ and was performed by Peabo Bryson (b.1951) and Regina Belle (b.1963) who took it to No.1 in America, where it sold over 600,000 copies. The song was a sizable hit internationally and the film went on to gross $504 million ($921m in today’s money) worldwide.
In 2019 Disney remade their own film, this time as a live action feature with Egyptian actor Mena Massoud (b.1991) as Aladdin and British actress Naomi Scott (b.1993) as Princess Jasmine in the lead roles. Both actors recorded their version of “A Whole New World” for the film, which has now grossed over a billion dollars globally.
A second version was recorded for the soundtrack with former One Direction vocalist Zayn Malik (b.1993) and eighteen year old American singer Zhavia Ward. Their version has been released commercially and has reached the singles charts in the US and the UK as well as ‘down under’ and in parts of Europe.
But which is best? REGINA and PEABO’s original or MENA and NAOMI or ZAYN and ZHAVIA’s new versions?