17 Things We Learned from The Whitney Houston Movie “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”

whitney houston movie whitney houston on the red carpet in a pink dress
23FEB2000: Pop star WHITNEY HOUSTON at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Paul Smith / Featureflash

The Whitney Houston movie, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” was recently added to Netflix, which is currently the number one most-watched movie on Netflix. Based on true events, the film shows pivotal moments in the star’s career, and personal life, giving fans a closer look into her reality. 

The movie stars Naomi Ackie, Stanley Tucci, Tamara Tunie, Nafessa Williams, Ashton Sanders, and Clarke Peters. Below, we will discuss 17 facts we learned from Whitney Houston’s incredible biopic.

1. Whitney Houston was Secretly Bisexual 

whitney houston bisexual
09SEP98: Singers MARIAH CAREY (left) & WHITNEY HOUSTON at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles. Image from Shutterstock.

The first ten minutes of the Whitney Houston movie reveal Whitney Houston’s secret relationship with Robyn Crawford, a woman she met in the summer of 1980 when she was working as a youth counselor. 

2. Her Mother was an Incredibly Strict Vocal Coach

whitney houston
LOS ANGELES – OCT 28: Whitney Houston at the 17th Carousel of Hope Ball at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, California on October 28, 2006. Image from Shutterstock.

Her mother, Cissy Houston, coached Whitney on her voice and demanded the best from her. One night, Cissy lost her voice from yelling at Whitney. 

She instructed Whitney to take her place in the performance at the club, Sweetwaters, starting with her mother’s would-be opening solo of the song, “The Greatest Love of All.” 

According to the film, is the night Clive Davis discovered Whitney.

3. Clive Davis signed Whitney Houston before Writing a Single Song

clive davis and whitney houston
LOS ANGELES – FEB 10: Clive Davis, Whitney Houston arrives at the Clive Davis Annual Pre-Grammy Party at Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 10, 2007 in Beverly Hills, CA. Image from Shutterstock.

Whitney’s previous experience was singing the songs of others. In the film, Clive Davis signs Houston, then finds out she didn’t know how to write songs. His response was “That’s ok, we will get other people to write them for you.”

Related: Clive Davis’ Net Worth The Story of a Powerful Starmaker

4. Whitney’s Mom May Have Saved her First TV Performance 

During Whitney’s first-ever televised performance, on the Merv Griffin Show, Whitney’s mother thought the song was being played too slow, so she told the piano player to speed up the tempo mid-song. 

Doing so may have saved Whitney’s first televised performance. In the footage from 1983, you can even faintly see Cissy orchestrating the pianist behind the stage curtain.

5. Clive Davis Didn’t Like “How Will I Know” When They Were Listening to Demo Tapes in his Office

whitney houston
Rome, Italy – April, 23 2020, Whitney CD cover, the second album of the American singer Whitney Houston, released on June 29, 1987. Image from Shutterstock.

Although the famous song would go on to hit Billboard’s Hot 100 and is one of the star’s most popular singles, Clive Davis was a bit doubtful when he first heard this song. Lucky for us, he pushed his worries aside and produced it anyway! 

6. Whitney Cheated on her Partner Robyn with Jermaine Jackson

whitney houston
27FEB98: Singer WHITNEY HOUSTON at the Soul Train Awards where she was presented with the 1998 Quincy Jones Award for Career Achievement. Image from Shutterstock.

Whitney and Robyn’s sexual relationship came to an abrupt end in the mid-1980s. Part of this was because Clive Davis told Whitney that Robyn didn’t fit the image they were going for. 

The other reason is that Whitney unexpectedly fell for Jermaine Jackson. 

7. Listeners Thought her Music Wasn’t Black Enough

whitney houston
Whitney Houston at music mogul Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. February 9, 2008 Los Angeles, CA Picture: Paul Smith / Featureflash.

Many accused Whitney of selling out and not being a “real” black artist because her music fell more in the pop genre than R&B. Some fans even went so far as to say that the white audience took Whitney Houston away from them. 

8. Whitney Houston was Booed at Soul Train Awards

Whitney Houston’s song, “I Want To Dance With Somebody” was nominated for the best music video, up against Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” and Janet Jackson’s “Control”, and Jody Watley’s “Looking for a New Love.” 

When Whitney’s song was mentioned as a nomination, the crowd began with cheers, followed by rumbling boos, which upset Whitney. The Soul Train Awards is where Bobby Brown and Whitney met. 

The two became a couple, got married, which lasted 14 years. Whitney Houston divorced Brown, which was finalized on April 24th, 2007. Houston was 29 years old when she married Brown.

9. They Didn’t Mention Whitney’s Super Bowl National Anthem was Lip Synced

In the movie, Whitney demands the national anthem be played slower for her at the 1991 Superbowl performance, so the song’s tempo was to her liking. 

What they didn’t include in the movie, was that, according to her producer Rickey Minor, her performance was not live, but lip-synced. 

Well, it fooled me.

10. Whitney Postponed her Wedding for a Movie Role

whitney houston family
LOS ANGELES – OCT 11: Whitney Houston, Bobby Borwn, Daughter Bobbi Kristina arrives at the 4TH ACHIEVEMENT IN THE ARTS GALA at Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 11, 1998 in Beverly Hills, CA. Image from Shutterstock.

Whitney Houston postponed her wedding to Bobby Brown to play the lead role in the movie, The Bodyguard featuring Kevin Costner. 

The couple did eventually wed on July 18th, 1992 despite the relationship having obvious troubles, as Bobby Brown now claims. 

11. Whitney Experienced a Miscarriage While Filming The Bodyguard

whitney houston
Whitney Houston at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Awards Party, Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA. 02-12-11. Image from Shutterstock.

Before she had her beloved daughter, Bobbie Kristina, Houston was pregnant while on the set of The Bodyguard. Unfortunately, whether it was the stress or something else, Whitney miscarried during the final days of filming. 

While she was distraught at the time, in later interviews she said she was happy that she was able to have Bobbi Kristina one year after the fateful miscarriage. 

12. Bobby Brown was a Toxic Partner

whitney houston and bobby brown
09SEP98: Singer/actress WHITNEY HOUSTON & husband BOBBY BROWN at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles. Picture: Paul Smith / Featureflash

Bobby Brown cheated on Whitney Houston while they were married, and not just once. Bobby admitted in an interview that he cheated several times. 

This wasn’t the only toxicity in their marriage, however, as Houston also reportedly introduced Brown to hard drugs during their time together. 

13. Whitney Houston Had a Daughter

whitney houston and bobbi kristina
LOS ANGELES – FEB 12: Whitney Houston; Bobbi Kristina Brown arrives at the 2011 Pre-GRAMMY Gala And Salute To Industry Icons at Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 12, 2011 in Beverly Hills, CA. Image from Shutterstock.

While many Whitney Houston fans might know she had a daughter with Bobby Brown. Her name is Bobbi Kristina Brown, named after her father. Bobbi would eventually end up living with her mother after the pair split in 2007. 

14. Whitney Houston’s Dad Was Stealing Money from Her

whitney houston
LOS ANGELES – MARCH 25: Whitney Houston arrives at the {Title} at MORTON’S on March 25, 2001 in West Hollywood, CA. Image from Shutterstock.

Whitney’s father, John Russell Houston was her manager. He handled all the finances involving her career. When Whitney found out a lot of her money was gone, she went to her father to see that he spent most of it. 

He even demanded Whitney pay him $100 million dollars for his “piece” in a record deal he assisted in negotiating with Arista Records. This drove a painful wedge between Whitney and her father.

15. Whitney Smoked Cigarettes

whitney houston
27FEB98: Singer WHITNEY HOUSTON at the Soul Train Awards where she was presented with the 1998 Quincy Jones Award for Career Achievement. Image from Shutterstock.

Smoking cigarettes is one of the worst things a singer can do for their voice. Cigarette smoke damages vocal cords over time, and Clive Davis knew it; showing his distaste for her smoking habit a few times in the movie.

16. Clive Davis Confronted Whitney About her Drug Abuse

whitney houston
NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 30: Singer Whitney Houston attends the Keep A Child Alive’s Black Ball hosted by Alicia Keys at the Hammerstein Ballroom on September 30, 2010 in New York City. Image from Shutterstock.

The constant demands of the music industry put stress on Whitney. Eventually, Whitney Houston became known for more than her music and was seen on the front pages of tabloid magazines for her reckless lifestyle. 

Clive Davis urged Whitney to enter rehab, but she denied having a problem. Eventually, she did eventually check herself in for drug and alcohol treatment.

17. How Whitney Houston Died

whitney houston death
Milan, Italy – April 21, 2022: Whitney Houston portraits on postage stamp. Image from Shutterstock.

While the biopic doesn’t reenact the event of Whitney Houston’s death, the film ends with a message on the screen that states Whitney Houston passed away in 2012 from a drug-related accidental drowning at the age of 48 years old.

Whitney Houston’s movie “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” is available for streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

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Written by Bo Weber

Supporting artists since 2014


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