"When a Man Loves a Woman" was originally recorded and made famous by Percy Sledge. It made number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B singles charts, was a top ten hit in the UK peaking at number four on its initial release and peaking at number two in 1987 after it was featured in a Levi's Jeans commercial. The song was 54th in the List of Rolling Stone magazine's 500 greatest songs of all time. The song is co-written by Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright, who played bass and keyboards with Sledge. The song was written by Percy Sledge, but he gave the song to Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright, who played bass and keyboards with Sledge.
It was later covered by Michael Bolton in 1991, whose version also reached number one on the U.S. pop and adult contemporary singles charts (Bolton also received a Grammy Award for this song). Barbara Mandrell recorded a Country version of the song that same year. The song has also been recorded by Marvin Gaye, Jerry Butler, Art Garfunkel, Luba, Karen Dalton and Bette Midler.