Robert Knight passed away on Nov. 5 at the age of 72. Knight is a music industry legend, best known for his song “Everlasting Love.” Even 40 years later, the song is still a classic—it’s catchy, danceable and the lyrics are sweet and touching.
However, there is so much more to Knight than just this hit song. Here are five interesting facts you may not have known about the talented crooner.
1. His Music Career Almost Didn’t Happen
Lest you think that Knight’s path to success was easy, he actually had numerous roadblocks along the way. His first music group, The Paramounts, seemed like they were on their way to stardom, and their first single “Free Me” had impressive sales. But when their subsequent songs flopped, the group broke up, thereby breaking their contract with Dot Records. This effectively meant that Knight and his pals were blacklisted in the music business for years.
2. He Finally Got A Break While Singing At His Fraternity House
After the breakup of The Paramounts, Knight went to college. It was there he got his next big break. Producer and legendary guitarist Mac Gayden was hanging out at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, when he happened to hear a beautiful voice coming from Kappa Sigma House. He rushed into the frat house, where he saw Knight performing a song for his buddies. Gayden knew that Knight had serious talent, and so he handed over his business card. The rest is Music City history!
3. “Everlasting Love” Was Not Supposed To Be His Big Hit Song
Knight worked with producers and songwriters Buzz Cason and Mac Gayden on his debut album. However, Cason and Gayden didn’t plan for “Everlasting Love” to be the album’s breakout single. Instead, they had another song called “The Weeper,” which they wanted Knight to use to catch America’s attention. “Everlasting Love” was just a “kind of like a throwaway tune” (according to Gayden). But, as we know, that’s not what happened. Instead, everyone who heard “Everlasting Love” instantly loved it, and the song dominated the airwaves.
4. “Everlasting Love” Has Been Covered By Several Artists
Although Knight’s version continues to be the perennial favorite, stars such as Gloria Estefan, Rex Smith and Rachel Sweet, and Carl Carlton have remade “Everlasting Love.” Interestingly, Estefan was pregnant with her second child when they were shooting the music video for “Everlasting Love,” so the directors got creative and used drag performers instead!
5. Knight Had A Life Outside Hollywood
Prior to his major hit, Knight studied chemistry at Vanderbilt University. And, after the major success of “Everlasting Love” as well as a few other hits, Knight left the music industry. He returned to his home state of Tennessee and became a lab technician at Vanderbilt.
We are sending our condolences to Knight’s family and friends (and listening to “Everlasting Love” on repeat).