Kevin Costner recalls fighting for Whitney Houston's iconic a cappella moment in “The Bodyguard”

Kevin Costner recalls fighting for Whitney Houston's iconic a cappella moment in “The Bodyguard”

"The band kicks it and we know when it does, the hair on your arm stands up," the actor recalled of the pivotal "I Will Always Love You" solo.

Whitney Houston’s climactic solo in The Bodyguard almost went down very differently — but thankfully, music aficionado Kevin Costner stepped in.

During his Monday visit to The Kelly Clarkson Show, Costner confirmed that it was his idea for Houston to sing the opening of "I Will Always Love You" a cappella. And while the vulnerable vocal choice seems like a no-brainer in retrospect, it was met with plenty of pushback at the time.

"They weren’t that wild about it on the record side of things," Costner said, referencing the label's fear that the song would be rejected by radio stations if its first verse had no music. Luckily, Costner had the perfect response: "I said, 'Well you guys need to get over that. Don’t be too sure they won’t do it on the radio.'"

<p>Everett</p> Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston in 'The Bodyguard'


Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston in 'The Bodyguard'

Related: Kevin Costner refused to shorten his eulogy at Whitney Houston's funeral: 'They can get over that'

Explaining the thought-process behind his idea, Costner reflected on the emotional scene between their romantically entwined characters, Rachel and Frank.

"Whitney was doing almost an apology moment at that point," he said. "And what better way to let someone know they really mean what they’re singing to you than when they say, 'I don’t even need to music behind it. Let me sing to you what I feel about you.'"

He continued, "The band kicks it and we know when it does, the hair on your arm stands up. That was just an instinct that I had. Let’s not have any music. Let’s let her stand out there just bare and say, 'You’re important to me.'"

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Costner went on to say that while he is no music expert, he doesn’t hesitate to voice his thoughts when it comes to how a song fits into a film.

"It’s hard sometimes to go up to a world-class composer and say, 'I’m not kinda liking this'. But I will say something," he shared. "Music is so universal that you can have a conversation with a world-class composer and go 'It doesn’t sound right' when it comes to film. By itself, the music sounds beautiful but when you lay music against a piece of film, it sticks like glue or it doesn’t."

History will confirm that Whitney Houston’s recording of Dolly Parton’s "I Will Always Love You" certainly stuck. Following The Bodyguard’s release, the track ascended to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for a record 14 weeks.

Related: Dolly Parton used royalties from 'I Will Always Love You' to support a Black neighborhood in Nashville

In 2012, while speaking to Entertainment Weekly for an oral history of the beloved song, The Bodyguard producer David Foster admitted that he didn’t see Costner’s vision for the a cappella moment — but that quickly changed once Houston opened her mouth.

"The a cappella part was Kevin’s idea. And I was like, 'Kevin, you’re a great actor, but that is not a good idea,'" Foster recalled. "But I relented. So Whitney’s standing in the ballroom of the hotel, and we’re rolling, and she goes, 'If I…' and I was like, 'Oh my God.'"

He added, "I was standing beside Whitney’s mother, and she turned to me and said, 'You’re witnessing greatness right now.'"

You can hear Costner reflect on the pivotal musical moment in the clip above.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.