Here Are All the Songs in ‘Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody’

Naomi Ackie gives audiences a glimpse into the life of Whitney Houston in director Kasi Lemmons’ new biopic “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” and the new film is packed with a number of Houston’s hits.

Working with movement coach Polly Bennett (“Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Elvis”) and vocal coaches Tangela Large, Bridgette Jackson and Denise Woods, Ackie also underwent physical transformation with the help of numerous wigs and false teeth to cover the natural gap in her two front teeth.

Ackie doesn’t sing most songs in the film — she lip syncs to Houston’s perfect tracks instead — but she mimics Houston’s style of singing with great detail. She steps in for performances by Houston that were not recorded, such as “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah” and “Jesus Loves Me” from her choir-singing days. Ackie also portrays a nervous Whitney who is thrust onstage by her mother, who knows Clive Davis is in attendance, to sing “Greatest Love of All.” Ackie’s nervous singing transitions into Houston’s polished tone, and for the rest of the film, the songs consist of actual recordings of Houston’s voice — 22 original recordings to be exact.

The classics were obtained and remixed for the sound of movie theaters, courtesy of Arista Records — where Davis signed Houston — and Dick Clark Productions as well as with the help of Sony Entertainment. Other artists making names for themselves at the time also appear on the film’s soundtrack.

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Here are all the songs in “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”:

  • “I Believe in You and Me” Written by Sandy Linzer & David Wolfert, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • “Star Spangled Banner” Written by Francis Scott Key, Performed by Whitney Houston feat. The Florida Orchestra

  • “Don’t Cry” Written by Keith Thomas, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • “Run To You” Written by Allan Rich & Jud J. FriedmanPerformed by Whiney Houston

  • “I Will Always Love You” Written by Dolly Parton, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah” Arranged by Jason White and Performed by Naomi Ackie

  • “I Have Nothing” Performed  Written by Linda Thompson and David Foster, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • “Why Does It Hurt So Bad” Written by Kenneth Edmonds, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • “All I Do” Written by Stevie Wonder, Clarence Paul and Ervin Broadmax, Performed by Stevie Wonder

  • “Greatest Love of All” Written by Linda Creed & Michael Masser, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • “It’s Not Right, But It’s OK” Written by Leshawn Ameen Daniels, Rodney Jerkins, Fred Jerkins, Tony J Estes & Isaak J Phillips, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • “I’ll Be There” Written by Bobby Darin, Performed by Tamara Tunie

  • “Home” by Charles Emanuel Smalls, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • “I’m Every Woman” Written by Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • “Papillon (A.K.A. Hot Butterfly” Written by Greg Diamond, Performed by Chaka Kahn

  • “You Give Good Love,” Written by La Forreste Cope, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • “I’m Your Baby” Tonight” Written by Kenneth Edmonds & Antonio Reid, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • “Bad Boy Having a Party” Written by Luther Vandross, Marcus Miller and Sam Cooke, Performed by Luther Vandross

  • “If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful (Duet with Jermaine Jackson)” Written by Elliot A. Willensky, Performed by Whitney Houston & Jermaine Jacson

  • “So Emotional” Written by Tom Kelly & Billy Steinberg, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • “My Prerogative” by Robert Brown, Gene Griffin, Edward Theodore

  • “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” Written by Chuck Jackson & Frank N Wildhorn, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • “Saving All MY Love” Written by Michael Masser, Gerry Goffin & Leon Ware, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • “One Moment in Time” Written by John Bettis & Albert Hammond, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • “No One in the World” Written by Marti Sharron, Ken Hirsch, Performed by Anita Baker

  • “White Lines” Written by Melvin Glover, Sylvia Robinson, Performed by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

  • “How Will I Know” Written by Narada Michal Walden, George Robert Merrill & Shannon Rubican, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” Written by Diane Warren, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” Written by George Robert Merril & Shannon Rubican, Performed by Whitney Houston”24/7” Written by Rodney Jerkins, Marvin Hemmings & Chantal Hampton, Performed by Chantal Hampton

  • “Batson’s Piano Bar West” Written and Performed By Mark Batson

  • “Far Enough” Written by Michael Masse, Gerry Goffin & Leon Ware, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • “We All Need Somebody” Written by Clive Lukover

  • “My Name Is Not Susan” Written by Eric White, Performed by Whitney Houston

  • Higher Love” Written by Steve Winwood and Will Jennings, Performed by Kygo and Whitney Houston

  • “Jesus Loves Me” Written by Anna Barlett Warner, Performed by Naomi Ackie

  • Impossible Medley (Courtesy of Dick Clark Productions)

    • “I Loves You, Porgy” Written by George Gershwin & Ira Gershwin

    • “And I Am Telling You” Written by Tom Eyev, Henry Krieger, Performed by Whitney Houston

    • “I Have Nothing” Written by Linda Thomspon, David Foster Performed by Whitney Houston

Here is the Spotify album that accompanies the biopic.

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Of these classics, it is Houston singing the below:

  • “Greatest Love of All”

  • “Home”

  • “You Give Good Love”

  • “If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful” (duet with Jermaine Jackson)

  • “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”

  • “Saving All My Love”

  • “How Will I Know”

  • “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”

  • “Far Enough (unreleased)”

  • “The Star-Spangled Banner”

  • “Run To You”

  • “I Will Always Love You” (Live at the Concert for a New South Africa)

  • “Why Does It Hurt So Bad”

  • “It’s Not Right, But It’s OK”

  • “I’m Every Woman”

  • “I’m Your Baby Tonight”

  • “So Emotional”

  • “One Moment In Time”

  • “Million Dollar Bill”

  • “My Name Is Not Susan”

  • “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength”

  • “The Impossible Medley” (I Loves You, Porgy / And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going / I Have Nothing)

For these 22 songs, supervising sound and music editor John Warhurst and music supervisor Maureen Crowe worked with rightsholders and archives to obtain the master mixes in addition to the original, raw multitrack recordings Houston made.