This piano ballad was the lead single and title track from R&B recording artist Whitney Houston's seventh studio album.
The song was written by R. Kelly and produced by Tricky Stewart and Harvey Mason Jr. The song's message about finding strength through adversity from a higher power was very meaningful for Houston after she'd gone through years of considerable turmoil, including the breakdown of her marriage to Bobby Brown and treatment for substance abuse. At a NYC Listening Party industry executive Clive Davis explained that this song just sums it all up, and made sense as the album title. He said, quoting Whitney: "This song just says all I want to say about the last few years..."
This marked Houston's first Hot 100 hit since "Try It On My Own" peaked at #84 in 2003. It was her 38th entry overall.
Speaking about why the album was named after this song Houston said at one of her listening parties: "The last several years spiritually, this song says all I wanted to say. There are times in life when we go through certain situations - some not so good. You have to reach for a higher strength, you have to reach deep inside yourself, spend time with yourself to make some corrections that go beyond your own understanding and lean on a higher understanding, for me song puts it all in check. If I did not have my faith I wouldn't be as strong today."
The I Look To You album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with 305,000 copies. This was by far Houston's best opening sales week since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. It was also the singer's first chart-topping long player since The Bodyguard in 1993.
When Oprah Winfrey asked Houston to whom this song is addressed to during a televised conversation, Whitney replied: "Somebody bigger than you and I."
R. Kelly performed this song at Whitney's funeral, which was held on February 18, 2012 at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. "We love you, Whitney," Kelly said when he'd concluded. "Rest in peace."
A duet version featuring previously unreleased vocals by Whitney and newly recorded vocals by R. Kelly was included on her greatest hits collection, I Will Always Love You – The Best of Whitney Houston.