It’s been more than a month since the incomparable Whitney Houston’s legendary voice was tragically silenced forever. And judging by the massive increase of her album sales (Whitney’s on course to become the only woman in history to have 4 albums within the top 10 of the Billboard 200 Albums Chart this week, thus breaking records even after The Voice has been silenced), fans and music lovers have been truly mourning the loss of one of the greatest vocalists of all time. Apart from playing her entire discography on repeat, like many of her biggest fans, I’ve been browsing through some of her greatest live performances during her golden years. And Whitney’s performance of ‘Exhale (Shoop Shoop)‘ at the 1997 Grammy Awards remains one of my faves.
Taken from the ground-breaking soundtrack of the genre bending film ‘Waiting To Exhale‘ released in 1995, ‘Exhale (Shoop Shoop)‘ was Whitney Houston’s 11th and last Billboard Hot 100 # 1 single. The song debuted at # 1, and stayed at # 2 for eleven consecutive weeks, eventually earning a Platinum certification and sales of over 1.5 million singles in the US.
Another reason for this performance being so spectacular, is that the performance is a medley of some of the biggest hits by some of the greatest vocalists of all time, including Mary J Blige, Aretha Franklin, Brandy and CeCe Winans. It’s incredible how all of these hits were generated from just one soundtrack.
The Babyface helmed soundtrack topped the Billboard 200 Albums Chart for 5 weeks, was certified 7 times Platinum and was nominated for 11 Grammy’s, and won Whitney the Grammy for Best R’n'B Song for ‘Exhale (Shoop Shoop)‘.
Mary J Blige and Brandy deliver stunning renditions of their singles ‘Not Gon’ Cry‘ and ‘Sittin’ Up In My Room‘ respectively as a part of the medley as well (both the songs peaked at # 2 on the Billboard Hot 100). In case you haven’t given the iconic soundtrack a listen, I’d suggest you do it right now! And watch the flawless live performance right here :