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Whitney Houston - How Will I Know (1985)

  • Video Views 109,132,078
  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 2.17
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

"How Will I Know" is a song recorded by American singer Whitney Houston for her eponymous debut album released on November ...

"How Will I Know" is a song recorded by American singer Whitney Houston for her eponymous debut album released on November 22, 1985 by Arista Records as the album's third single. Composed by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam, the song was originally intended for singer Janet Jackson, but she passed on it. Houston then recorded the song with altered lyrics and production from Narada Michael Walden. The lyrics speak about the protagonist trying to discern if a boy she likes will ever like her back.

"How Will I Know" received positive reviews from music critics. It became Houston's second number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 spending two weeks atop the chart and also became her first chart topper on the Canadian RPM Top 100 Singles chart. It also reached the top 10 in Australia, Sweden, Ireland, Norway and the United Kingdom, and the top 20 in the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.

The accompanying music video for the song features scenes of Houston dancing in a setting of video screens and colored partitions. The music video gave Houston exposure to the teens and MTV. It received two nominations at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards; Best Female Video and Best New Artist, winning the former category. The song was performed on many of her tours including Greatest Love Tour (1986) and her Nothing but Love World Tour (2009–10). "How Will I Know" is also featured as a remix on Houston's compilation album Whitney: The Greatest Hits (2000), whereas the original single version is featured on The Ultimate Collection (2007) and I Will Always Love You: The Best of Whitney Houston (2012; remastered).

Music video

The accompanying music video for "How Will I Know", directed by British director Brian Grant and choreographed by Arlene Phillips, was filmed prior to the release of the single and album. Unlike her past music videos, Houston was given the opportunity to move beyond the staged performance settings to demonstrate straightforward dance moves. The music video is set against a strikingly designed, vividly colored setting of video screens and partitions. Houston's hair is dyed honey blonde and is worn by a dazzling colored hairbow. She is also seen accented by a tight silver dress made of metal mesh, reaching almost to her knees, adorned with matching fingerless gloves. Houston is also seen choreographing with backup dancers, in black outfits and wearing French-style makeup. The music video also has a scene of splattering of paint and drizzling down the screen. Houston's labelmate and family friend Aretha Franklin also makes a cameo appearance in the music video. In 2011, Kyle Anderson of MTV wrote that the video was "eye-opening to watch her cut loose in a fun environment", since her past songs were ballads.

The music video was her first to receive heavy rotation on MTV. Also, the music video was nominated for two awards at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards, in the categories of Best New Artist and Best Female Video, winning the latter.

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