Whitney Houston recorded “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” for her second studio album, Whitney (1987). Arista Records released it as the album’s first single on May 2, 1987. Houston worked with Boy Meets Girl’s George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam on “How Will I Know,” which was produced by Narada Michael Walden.
As a result of this disparity, the song’s musical arrangement and Houston’s vocal performance on “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” were both acclaimed by music reviewers. With mixed reviews, the song became an international hit, topping the charts in 18 different nations, including the United States and the United Kingdom. With sales of over 6 million copies, it was certified 6x platinum in the United States and became Houston’s fourth straight number-one hit.
I Wanna Dance with Somebody Who Loves Me” won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards, Houston’s second Grammy triumph in the category this time.
It was written by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam, who had composed Houston’s 1985 hit “How Will I Know,” and as a consequence, they were requested to write another song for Houston’s then-new album. Merrill and Rubicam wrote “Waiting For a Star to Fall” with the intention of dedicating it to Houston, the city that gave Merrill and Rubicam their first top 10 hit in the United States and the United Kingdom as Boy Meets Girl.
They submitted it to Arista Records, but they declined to release it because they felt it wasn’t appropriate for Houston. Unfazed, the duo continued their search for the perfect song for Houston and came up with the concept for “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” Rubicam went on to describe the song’s concept:
Wishing that they might find that particular someone for themselves, I imagined myself as someone who was single. ‘I want to go down to the disco and dance,’ was far from the sentiment. The narrator said, “I want to perform that dance of life with someone.” The song was written with it in mind. So we emailed Clive Davis our trial version, and he was blown away.
Narada Michael Walden, the producer of “How Will I Know,” didn’t like the song.
He needed more persuasion to see the song’s potential, and he was hesitant to let Houston record it at first because he thought it sounded too “country and western.” He expressed his thoughts on the matter as follows:
The song reminded me of a rodeo song with Olivia Newton-voice John’s singing. For Whitney Houston, Olivia Newton-John just didn’t seem right. In my opinion, the song could have used some funkier vibes. I went to sleep thinking about it and woke up wondering what I was going to do with this dance tune when I got there. It was then that I realised that we had a solid record since Houston had smashed it out of the park.
As for the song’s percussion, Roland TR-808 drum machines were used.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody-The Public Reaction
Mixed reviews have been given to “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me).” Vince Aletti of Rolling Stone magazine slammed the song in a review of Whitney, saying, “Not taking any chances, [Merill Griffith and Shannon Rubicam] have simply come up with a clever anagram of their original hit [How Will I Know], and [Narada Michael] Walden has glossed it over in an identically perky style.” This is ‘How Will I Know II,’ and the approach isn’t all that different from that of Hollywood blockbuster sequels. An earworm with an undercurrent of synthesiser and an exuberant zest reminiscent of Cyndi Lauper and her hit “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” according to Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times.
“I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” and “You’re Still My Man,” another song on Whitney, were like “viewing television while someone fiddles with colour controls,” according to Jon Pareles of the New York Times.
According to Slant Magazine’s 100 Greatest Dance Songs in 2006, the song “is defining 1980s dance-pop” because of its “parenthetical title,” “gummy bassline,” “schmaltzy horns,” “tinkling keyboards,” and “half-step key changes.”
On January 25, 1988, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” received the American Music Award for “Favorite Pop/Rock Single.”
At the Grammy Awards 30th annual presentation on March 2, 1988, Houston won the award for “Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female” for the song. During the 2nd Soul Train Music Awards on March 30, 1988, the music video for the song was nominated for “Best Musical Video.” At the first Garden State Music Awards, Houston’s video won for “Best Music Video.” In a survey conducted by ITV in 2015, the song was rated the seventh most popular 1980s number one by the British audience. I Wanna Dance with Someone (Who Loves Me) came in at number 231 in Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Best Songs of All Time in 2021.
At the beginning of May 1987, Houston’s second studio album’s first song, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me),” was released to radio. For the first time in her career, it debuted at No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100, her highest start in the 1980s.  As a result, it became Houston’s fourth number one single in the United States six weeks later, on June 27, 1987 — the same day that her album Whitney debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 (previously “Top Pop Albums”).
Only one other song that year spent as much time in the top 10 as it did in its first nine weeks at number one. For the longest run on either the Hot 100 Single Sales or Hot 100 Airplay charts, the song spent two weeks at the top of the charts. Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero’s remixes of the dance/club version of the song became Houston’s first Billboard Hot Dance/Club Play Songs chart-topper, and it remained at the top of the charts for three weeks before falling off for two weeks.  With a release date of July 4, 1987, it peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs list (formerly known as the “Hot Black Singles”), as well. It lasted 15 weeks on the R&B chart after debuting at No. 2 behind Stephanie Mills’ “I Feel Good All Over,” which never reached the Hot 100.
When the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the record Gold on July 28, 1987, for shipping of 1,000,000 copies of the song, Houston became the first artist in the history of the RIAA to receive Platinum certification for the same shipment on February 13, 1989.
In the years before January 1, 1989, the threshold for earning a gold or platinum disc was greater. Due to a decline in single sales, the standards for gold and platinum were set at 1,000,000 and 2,000,000 units, respectively. On the Billboard Year-End Top Pop Singles list for 1987, it peaked at number four. As of the May 9, 1987 edition of Canada’s RPM Top 100 Singles chart, the song peaked at number one on July 4, 1987, rising all the way to position 74. On the RPM Year-End Top 100 Singles list in 1987, it came in at number two. On February 29, 1988, the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) issued a Gold certification for the track.
The song was a tremendous international success, becoming her most popular single at the time. It topped the charts in fourteen different nations. On May 23, 1987, the song entered the UK Singles Chart at number 10 for the week commencing May 23, 1987. Her second number-one hit in the UK came two weeks later, during the week of June 6, 1987. As of August 1, 1987, 400,000 copies of the single have been sent to customers in the United Kingdom. To date, it has racked up sales of more than 765,000 copies in the United Kingdom, according to The Official Charts Company
.Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland all had it at the top of the charts for a period of time. Norway, Sweden and Switzerland all had it at the top of the charts for a period of time.Austria and Ireland had it at the top of their charts for a short period of time. For eight weeks, the song topped the European Hot 100 Singles list as a result of its widespread popularity in Europe. After spending five weeks at the top of the Australian Kent Music Report singles chart, it was Houston’s second number-one hit. When it reached number one in New Zealand, it became Houston’s first-ever number one single in the nation and stayed there for four weeks.
There were 4.2 million global sales of “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)”It returned to the Billboard Hot 100 a week after Houston’s death, debuting at number 35 and re-entering at number 7 in the same week as “I Will Always Love You.”
I Wanna Dance With Somebody- Video Of Music
As with Houston’s music video for “How Will I Know,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” was directed by Brian Grant and choreographed by Arlene Phillips. The video shows Houston in a pink dress against a purple background that never shifts its point of focus. After a performance, Houston appears in the video’s beginning. She makes her way backstage, and the scenario is punctuated with images of her that are more vibrant and bright. Various settings and dresses by Houston appear at the song’s introduction, as dancers strive to impress her as she performs. “Don’t you want to dance say you want to dance” is what she asks the guy at the conclusion of the song with a combination of amazement and surprise. As of October 2021, it has over 306 million views on YouTube.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody In-Person Showcase
Almost all of Houston’s global and regional tours included this song. She debuted the song, along with “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” as a new track from her future album at the last gigs of her 1986 world tour, The Greatest Love.  From April to May 1987, Houston sang the song on television shows such as Domenica In (an Italian entertainment programme), the Montreux Golden Rose Rock Festival: IM&MC Gala (May 15, 1987), and Top of the Pops (May 21, 1987), where she sang live, unlike some other performers who lip-synched.
Houston sang it towards the end of her Moment of Truth World Tour in 1987 and 1988. On the North American leg of the tour (1987), she performed it with no back-up dancers, and with four dancers on the European leg (1989). (1988). Both the Saratoga Springs, NY, and London, UK, Wembley Arena, May 1988, and September 2, 1987, performances of the song were taped; the first was televised on MTV on September 11, 1987, at the 4th MTV Video Music Awards.
One night of nine sold-out performances at Wembley Arena in 1988 was televised by Italian television station Rai Uno as part of a special package for her. Houston sang the song as the night’s opening number at the 30th Annual Grammy Awards on March 2, 1988. While on tour in Europe, she sang the song at Wembley Stadium for the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute Concert on June 11, 1988 in front of around 72,000 people.
As part of her fourteen-date Feels So Right Tour, Houston also played “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” in Japan. On January 7, 1990, the song was performed live at the Yokohama Arena and was subsequently televised in Japan. That’s What Friends Are For: Arista Records 15th Anniversary AIDS Benefit Concert, which was telecast on CBS on April 17, 1990, is when she performed the song live on March 17. Whitney Houston Live: Her Greatest Performances, a CD/DVD set released in 2014, includes this performance.
“I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” was Houston’s opening number for her I’m Your Baby Tonight World Tour in 1991. There were three different recordings and broadcasts of the song: the first was in Yokohama, Japan on March 15, the second was in Norfolk, Virginia on March 31 and later released as the video of the same name; the third was in A Corua, Spain on September 29 and was included in This Is My Life, her first hour-long special which aired later that year.
The Bodyguard World Tour (1993–94) included a performance of “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me).” During the tour, the song was performed five times, four in South America (Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Venezuela) and the fifth in Johannesburg, South Africa, aired live via satellite on HBO on November 12, 1994, the event itself being dubbed The Concert for a New South Africa. For a 25-minute pre-game programme televised in more than 180 countries during the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, Houston sang the song.
For two regional tours, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” was featured as part of the set list (1998). The remixed version of the song was included in a “1980s Dance Medley” with “How Will I Know” on the My Love Is Your Love World Tour in 1999. On August 22, 1999, Polish television station TVP1 aired a live performance of the song at the tour stop in Sopot, Poland. At Arista Records 25th Anniversary Celebration in Los Angeles on April 10 and televised on NBC on May 15 of the following year, Houston sang the song in a rendition identical to the one she sang on her 1999 tour.