Only the Strong Survive (song)

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"Only the Strong Survive"
Single by Jerry Butler
from the album The Ice Man Cometh
GenreSoul, proto-disco
Songwriter(s)Jerry Butler, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff
Jerry Butler singles chronology
"Are You Happy"
"Only the Strong Survive"
"Moody Woman"

"Only the Strong Survive" is a song written by Jerry Butler, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and originally sung in 1968 by Jerry Butler, released on his album The Ice Man Cometh. It was the most successful single of his career, reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was #1 for two weeks on the Billboard Black Singles Chart, in March and April 1969, respectively.[1]

"Only the Strong Survive" was the first of two singles which were platinum certified by the RIAA, selling over a million copies (the second was "Ain’t Understanding Mellow" in 1972).

Elvis Presley (1969) and Billy Paul (1977) also recorded versions of this song. In the UK, Billy Paul's version was released on the Philadelphia International label (PIR 5699). It entered the singles charts on November 17, 1977, had a chart life of seven weeks & a peak position of No. 33. Another version of this song was recorded by The Trammps in the Netherlands in 2003. It sounds very similar to Billy Paul's version. The song appears on the compilation album Only The Strong Survive (Sony), which oddly enough shows the remaining four group members on the cover. There's also an extended clubmix of this song on this CD. The clubmix was produced by Maas and Van der Weyde.


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 95.