Exhale (Shoop Shoop)

Album: Waiting To Exhale (1995)
Charted: 11 1
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Songfacts®:

  • This was featured in the movie Waiting To Exhale, which starred Houston as one of four women struggling to deal with the men in their lives. The song reflects the emotional state of the women in the film.
  • In the US, this spent 11 weeks at #2 after a single week at #1. It marked the longest consecutive stretches that the same two records have been 1-2 on the chart (this and "One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men), and spent the most weeks at #2 after being #1.
  • According to BBC Radio 2 DJ Paul Gambaccini, the song's writer, Babyface, didn't want to call this "The Shoop Shoop Song" as Betty Everett had already recorded a song with that title, so he put "Shoop Shoop" in brackets instead.
  • Babyface said he included the "Shoop Shoop" part because he couldn't think of any other lyrics. He told Billboard: "It felt like it should groove there. But I knew it couldn't groove without any vocals, so I started humming along with it and that's what happened. The 'shoops' came. But they felt so good, I thought 'Why not?' It doesn't have to mean anything."
  • This won a Grammy Award in 1997 for Best R&B Song. It was also nominated for Song of the Year, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.
  • Actor Forest Whitaker made his directorial debut with the film and also directed the music video, which features close-ups of Houston singing and includes scenes from the movie. Several US theaters used the clip as a trailer to promote the movie.
  • R&B singer Robin Thicke covered the song in 2012 shortly after Houston's death.
  • In an interview with Songwriter Universe magazine, Babyface explained his ability to write songs from a female perspective: "When I wrote for female artists, I knew from being in relationships or having my heart broken, what the woman was feeling, because I would be feeling the same emotions. So when I wrote for a female, I could understand how to write from their perspective, because it was from the heart."
  • This was the last of the '90s shoop hits, which started with Cher's 1990 cover of "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)." Michael Cooper had a minor hit with his 1992 track "Shoop Shoop (Never Stop Givin' You Love)," and Salt-N-Pepa had a big hit with "Shoop" in 1993.

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