I (Who Have Nothing)

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"I (Who Have Nothing)"
Single by Ben E. King
Released1963
LabelAtco Records
Writer(s)Carlo Donida, Mogol, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
 
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"I (Who Have Nothing)"
Single by Ben E. King
Released1963
LabelAtco Records
Writer(s)Carlo Donida, Mogol, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller

"I (Who Have Nothing)" (sometimes billed as "I Who Have Nothing") is a song originally released in English by Ben E. King in 1963.

"I (Who Have Nothing)" is based on the Italian song "Uno Dei Tanti" (English: "One of Many"), with music by Carlo Donida and lyrics by Giulio "Mogol" Rapetti.[1] "Uno Dei Tanti" was released by Joe Sentieri in 1961. The English lyrics for "I (Who Have Nothing)" were written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who also produced the Ben E. King record using the backing track from Joe Sentieri's record (orchestra conducted by Luis Enriquez Bacalov).

The song was included in the musical revue Smokey Joe's Cafe.

Versions

The original English Ben E. King version was released in 1963 and reached #29 on the Billboard charts. Other versions which reached the Billboard charts were performed by Terry Knight and the Pack in 1966 (#46), by Liquid Smoke in 1970 (#82), by Warhorse in 1972 and by Sylvester in 1979 (#46). The most popular version in the US was by Tom Jones, peaking at #14 in 1970.

Shirley Bassey released the song (produced by George Martin) in September 1963, reaching #6 on the UK charts. She performs the song at almost every live concert she gives, and it is on many of her compilation albums, including I Am What I Am with the London Symphony Orchestra, and her 1989 album La Mujer where she sings it in Spanish ("Hoy No Tengo Nada"). She has also been instrumental in making Donida's music known to English-speaking audiences through arranging for translations from the Italian, having performed with the composer conducting his own music on Italian television.[2][3]

Other versions of "I (Who Have Nothing)" have been recorded by Tom Jones, Petula Clark, Al Kooper, The Spectres, who later became Status Quo, Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, Sylvester, Jedi Mind Tricks, Hodges, James & Smith, Luther Vandross & Martha Wash, Liza Minnelli, Brook Benton, Neil Diamond, Joe Cocker, Normie Rowe, Katherine Jenkins, Ijahman Levi, Linda Jones, Little Milton, Bob Guillaume, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Dee Dee Warwick, Sam Sorono (1950-2008), Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Warhorse and Vassilikos from Raining Pleasure; in January 2012, Gladys Knight released a dance remixes EP of her cover of the song.

A Greek version was recorded by Marinella, titled "Agapi (Love)" on her album I Marinella Tragouda Megales Kyries in 1992.[4]

Recent interpretations include those by American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, Nikki Kerkhof, the winner of Idols 4, the Dutch version of Pop Idol, and Irish auditionee on The X Factor UK Mary Byrne.

Jordin Sparks sang the song during British Invasion Week on the sixth season of American Idol. A studio recording of her performance reached #74 on the Billboard Hot 100 following her win.

Haley Reinhart also sang it on season ten of American Idol in the Top 4 round, receiving a standing ovation from the judges and instant critical acclaim from critics and audiences alike.

Kerry Ellis performed the song with Brian May at the 2012 Samremo Music Festival. The pair have since recorded it.

French rocker Johnny Hallyday also sings the song in a duo with Amy Keys in his 2012 music tour.

References

External links