“Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” by Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston’s “Exhale (Shoop Shoop) is derived from a movie which basically centers on the dating frustrations of a group of women. And that is more or less the sentiment which is meant to be captured in the lyrics. Indeed its writer, Babyface, based them on his own experiences with romance and heartbreak. And basically, the philosophy Whitney is putting forth is one akin to all is fair in love and war. So along those same lines, since being in love tends to have its associated miseries, a lady must occasionally take time to step back and “exhale”. The titular expression is fundamentally another way of saying that females are occasionally compelled to take a relaxer from romance and, as illustrated in the third verse, seek internal fulfillment. Moreover negative romantic experiences can be mitigated via proper support from friends.

So again, this track is being relayed from a female perspective. More specifically, said female has had her ample experiences in the field of romance. And ultimately, she concludes that personal development and edification is an important aspect of overcoming the less-than-favorable aspects of said experiences.

Facts about “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)”

This song is from the star-studded soundtrack to the movie “Waiting to Exhale” (1995). 

As such the music video itself features scenes from “Waiting to Exhale”. But interesting to note is that said video had Hollywood actor Forest Whitaker as its director, with Forest also directing the movie itself.

Additionally it is worth noting that Whitney is the film’s lead actress. And initially she was deadset against the idea of recording any songs for the film. But eventually legendary musician Babyface, who is both the writer and producer of “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)”, convinced her to do so. And on his behalf, this piece is largely the product of lyrical improvisation.

“Exhale” went on to earn Whitney and Babyface a number of award nominations. In the process, they took home a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in 1997. Furthermore, they grabbed a couple of 1996 NAACP Image Awards (for Whitney ) and a 1997 BMI Pop Music Award (for Babyface).

Indeed “Exhale” proved to be a major success. In addition to being certified Platinum by the RIAA, it also topped Billboard’s coveted Hot 100. Additionally it charted in several more nations around the globe, including Canada. It also reached number 1 there.

And an interesting trivia fact is that this hit proved to be the last of 11 songs the phenomenal Whitney Houston (1963-2012) dropped that scored a number 1 on the Hot 100.

This track was released on 7 November 1995. It was the lead single from the aforementioned film’s soundtrack album.

Notable Cover(s)

Singer Robin Thicke is on record as having recorded a cover of “Exhale”. He covered this song in the aftermath of Whitney’s tragic passing in 2012.

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