I'm Your Baby Tonight

Album: I'm Your Baby Tonight (1990)
Charted: 5 1

Songfacts®:

  • By the time Houston released her third album, I'm Your Baby Tonight, she was coming off of a three-year hiatus after a record-breaking string of seven consecutive #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. The problem was, her record label felt she was losing touch with her black audience. Houston balked at the claim, telling USA Today, "I don't sing music thinking this is black, or this is white... I sing songs that everybody's going to like."

    But producers L.A. Reid and Babyface agreed with the assertion. Reid told Billboard: "We wanted to come up with something that was different than anything Whitney had sung, so we approached it from that angle. We wanted to give her a new direction, and pick up where we felt she was lacking. We felt like she needed more of a black base."
  • Houston meets a man who drives her wild on this track, which co-producer L.A. Reid describes as a "cross between something that's a little jazzy and a little funky." It became Houston's eighth chart-topper and Reid and Babyface's first #1 hit on the pop chart.
  • The Julien Temple-directed music video shows Houston in the guise of different pop culture figures, like silver screen siren Marlene Dietrich, Audrey Hepburn, and all three of The Supremes.
  • Houston performed this on Saturday Night Live in 1991 along with "All The Man That I Need."
  • Houston earned a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, for this song, but she lost to Mariah Carey for "Vision Of Love."
  • The Japanese version of the single has a rarity on the B-side: Houston's cover of the Steve Winwood hit "Higher Love," which was remixed in 2019 and released as a single.

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