Music News

After two 2019 hits, 2020 will bring even more Whitney Houston

BASE Hologram

BASE HologramOn February 25, a Whitney Houston hologram tour will kick off in the U.K., and if last year is any indication, it should be pretty successful.

2019 brought us two hits from Whitney: a posthumous duet with Pentatonix on “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and a remixed version “Higher Love,” which Whitney originally cut back in 1990.  The “Higher Love” remix has done very well, so why didn’t it come out in 1990?  Because her record label nixed it.

Grammy-winner Narada Michael Walden, who produced the original version of “Higher Love,” tells ABC Audio the issue was the fact that “Higher Love” was a cover of a 1986 #1 hit by Steve Winwood.

“When I gave it to Arista Records at that time, they decided that they didn’t want to do a cover of that record, so it only came out in Japan,” he explains. “So it was just kind of hidden away.”

But in 2019, when Whitney’s estate asked Walden to suggest a song to be remixed, he immediately thought of “Higher Love.”

When we cut it, it just burned a stain of glory in my heart,” he recalls. “Because Whitney just sang so powerfully on that song.”

Walden says Whitney told him she wanted to cover “Higher Love,” so he created a new track with a gospel choir, and played it for Whitney, who flipped.

“She was like, ‘Oh, my God!'” he tells ABC Audio. “And she…got on the microphone…and sang so beautifully that I just knew: There’s no way that can’t be coming out around the world.” 

Well, it did — 29 years later, in a remix by electronic music superstar Kygo.  But no hard feelings, says Walden, who notes, “I’m just happy that we can have success for Whitney at this time.”

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