Exhale (Shoop Shoop)

“Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” is a song by American recording artist Whitney Houston, featured on the soundtrack for the film Waiting to Exhale. It was released as the lead single from the soundtrack on November 7, 1995, by Arista Records. The song was written and produced by Babyface. A mid-tempo R&B ballad, composed in the key of C major, the song’s lyrics speaks about growing up and learning to let go. The song garnered mostly positive reviews from critics, many of whom noted Houston’s vocal maturity in the song.

In the United States, it became the third single to debut on top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in Billboard’s history, and Houston’s eleventh (and final) number one single. It was later certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of one million copies. The song also reached number one in Canada and Spain, and the top 10 in Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Sweden. Additionally, it peaked within the top 20 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. At the 39th Annual Grammy Awards, held on February 26, 1997, “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” received four nominations, including the Grammy Award for the Song of the Year, and won in the category of Best R&B Song. The song also won four other awards, including a Soul Train Music Award.

The music video for the song, directed by Forest Whitaker, shows close-up scenes of Houston inter-cut with scenes from the film Waiting to Exhale. Houston performed the song at the 39th Grammy Awards ceremony, and on the HBO special Classic Whitney Live from Washington, D.C. in October 1997. It was included in the set-list of Houston’s three tours and select dates of various concerts.

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