Back in 1990, Whitney Houston recorded a cover of Steve Winwood‘s popular 1986 single “Higher Love,” hoping to place the track on her third studio album I’m Your Baby Tonight. However, fearing Houston might be labeled as a “cover artist,” Clive Davis removed the record from the final, definitive American version, allowing it to see release only as a bonus cut on a Japan-only iteration of Whitney Houston’s third LP. As a result, the Steve Winwood cover ended up falling into obscurity.
Now, for the first entry in a series of planned posthumous releases, Whitney Houston’s original cover of “Higher Love” is being brought back as part of a new collaboration with popular producer-DJ Kygo.
“The current cultural environment has been thirsty for something uplifting and inspiring,” Pat Houston, Whitney Houston’s sister-in-law, shares with Rolling Stone. “Who better to inspire than Whitney, the most exhilarating vocalist of all time? … We want to remind people why they fell in love with Whitney in the first place.”
According to Pat Houston, Kygo was the first artist that the Houston estate and the record label considered for this special posthumous effort. “He put his spin on it and did a fantastic job,” Pat Houston remarks. “We knew when his name was brought up that it would be successful in the hands of someone of his caliber.”
“I was trying to make it sound like something that she would’ve done, but also something that’s my style,” Kygo adds in his own statement to Rolling Stone.
You can check out Kygo and Whitney Houston’s cover of Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” above.
For more, revisit Kygo and Miguel’s 2018 collaboration “Remind Me to Forget.”