On this day in music history: June 27, 1987 – …

On this day in music history: June 27, 1987 – “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, also topping the Adult Contemporary chart for 3 weeks on July 4, 1987, and peaking at #2 on the R&B singles chart on June 20, 1987. Written by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam, it is the fourth chart topping single for the pop and R&B vocal superstar from Newark, NJ. After the massive whirlwind success of her self-titled debut album, Whitney Houston begins recording her sophomore release in the Fall of 1986. Having produced the smash “How Will I Know” on the first album, producer Narada Michael Walden produces the majority of the new album, working on eight of the eleven songs on the finished LP. George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam, the husband and wife songwriting team responsible for writing “Know”, and the pop vocal duo known as Boy Meets Girl, are invited back to contribute a song to Whitney’s album. Initially, the pair come up with “Waiting For A Star To Fall” for Houston and submit it to Arista. The song is rejected as not being suitable for Whitney, and the duo end up keeping it for themselves, and scoring a major pop hit with “Fall” (#5 Pop) in 1988. Instead, they write the equally bouncy and infectious “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)”, in a similar vein to “How Will I Know”. All involved agree that it is a smash, and Whitney and Narada record the song. Issued as the first single from “Whitney” on April 30, 1987, it is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #38 on May 16, 1987, it shoots to the top of the chart six weeks later. The 45 and import 12" versions of the single are backed with the non-LP track “Moment Of Truth” which also becomes a fan favorite. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” wins Whitney her second Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female in 1988. Houston’s second album also enters the Billboard Top 200 at number one on the same date that “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” tops the singles chart, making her the first female artist in history to debut in the top spot on the US album chart. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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