Whitney Houston Recorded a Hit Song in 1 Take so She Could Go to the Mall Before It Closed

Whitney Houston was a woman of many talents. She could sing, act, and captivate audiences around the world just by humming a note. But, it turns out that that’s not all Houston could do as she’d also recorded a hit song in no time at all.

Take her smash single “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” for example. According to legendary producers LA Reid and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, the hitmaker recorded the chart-topping song in just one take — and did so because she was in a rush to get to the mall.

Whitney Houston performing in London in 1988
Whitney Houston performing in London in 1988 | David Corio/Redferns

LA Reid and Babyface say Whitney Houston recorded ‘I’m Your Baby Tonight’ in one hour

Houston was a true musician and this story about her recording “I’m Your Baby Tonight” in record time just goes to show how talented the singer really was.

In 2016, famed producers LA Reid and Babyface were interviewed at The Grammy Museum, where they opened up about Houston’s 1990 smash hit.

The production team revealed that after being asked to produce Houston’s third studio album by music industry executive Clive Davis, they met up with the singer in Atlanta to record “I’m Your Baby Tonight.”

Stevie Wonder, Babyface, Whitney Houston, LA Reid, Clive Davis
Stevie Wonder, Babyface, Whitney Houston, LA Reid, Narada Michael Walden, and Clive Davis | Lester Cohen

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Though the song’s bridge wasn’t written when Houston arrived at the studio, she didn’t let that stop her from recording the track. According to Reid and Babyface, Houston only had one hour to record the song before the mall closed, and she really wanted to go.

So, she said “let’s go” and sang the song perfectly from top to bottom in 1 take. Babyface then wrote the bridge so she could make it to the mall in time.

After “I’m Your Baby Tonight” was released in October 1990, it went on to become a huge hit for Houston.

Not only did it land in the top spots on the music charts worldwide, but the track also became her fifth biggest hit in the United States. The song was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and earned Houston a nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 33rd Annual Grammy Awards.

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A month after the single was released, Houston dropped her third studio album of the same name, which included three other songs written and produced by Reid and Babyface.

Rolling Stone said that the album was “a case study in how much Houston can get out of her luscious and straightforward vocal gifts within a dance pop framework.”

Today, “I’m Your Baby Tonight” is still one of Houston’s most popular hits as it never fails to get listeners to sing along.