I Wanna Dance With Somebody: Story Behind This Whitney Houston Song

I Wanna Dance With Somebody is one of the most popular Whitney Houston songs

Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody was written by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam and the song has an upbeat tempo but the lyrics are quite emotional.

This became the lead single from the diva’ second album, Whitney. It sold 3 million copies in America while the album moved 9 million. The song’s upbeat music was perfect to kick off the album.

The music video was directed by Brian Grant who also directed Whitney’s How Will I Know. Based on the article in Songfacts, there was a challenge in doing the music video since the song is upbeat, the main component of the clip is dance.

i wanna dance with somebody whitne
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However, Whitney couldn’t dance. Choreographer Arlene Phillips did a good job in creating dance routines for the dancers while Whitney had minimal dance moves.

The song’s producer, Narada Michael Walden, said that it was the diva who came up with the line “Don’t you wanna dance, say you wanna dance” when they were recording this in the studio.

This became so popular and received recognition. It won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female and was hailed as the American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Single.

The song was re-released in 2012 after Whitney died and it went to #25 US and #20 UK. There is a slow, ambient version of this song that was created by singer-songwriter Bootstraps and it was used in the 2014 “You Be Illin'” episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chose I Wanna Dance With Somebody as their first dance at the evening reception following their wedding.

Here are the track credits:

Narada Michael Walden: drums
Walter Afanasieff: synths
Randy Jackson: bass synth
Corrado Rustici: guitar synth
Preston Glass: percussion programming
Mark Russo: alto sax
Greg “Gigi” Gonaway, Simmons Sterling: synth horns
Background Vocals: Jim Gilstrap, Kitty Beethoven, Kevin Dorsey, Myrna Matthews, Jennifer Hall, Whitney Houston

Another hit song that has a story to tell is Believe By Cher.

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