About to lose my breath / There's no more fighting left / Sinking to rise no more / Searching for that open door / Every road that I've taken / Led to my regret / I don't know if I'm gonna' make it / Nothing to do but lift my head / I look to you.
(from "I Look to You")
Whitney Houston has long been affiliated with gospel music. She cut her teeth singing church standards with her local New Jersey congregation's choir as a teenager. Her ties to the Christian music market became well-known after she collaborated with BeBe & CeCe Winans on their 1988 hit record, Heaven, a close kinship that exposed CeCe to a broader audience thanks to their hit duet, "Count on Me," from the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack.
The 1998 Dove Awards hosted a live display of the soul singer's roots with a cut-loose performance of the late Dottie Rambo's "I Go to the Rock" from The Preacher's Wife soundtrack, Houston's only fully faith-based record. The soundtrack, which featured the Georgia Mass Choir and Shirley Caesar, quickly became the greatest selling gospel album of all time, thanks to Houston's worldwide celebrity and her history-making soundtrack for The Bodyguard (which included a BeBe Winans-produced rendition of "Jesus Loves Me").
Even Houston's familial ties lead back to religious music. Cissy Houston, Whitney's mother, is a famous singer in traditional gospel circles. And her cousin, Dionne Warwick, released a full-fledged gospel record last year, in spite of the fact that many younger fans only know the legendary R&B singer from her strange association with the Psychic Friends Network in the '90s.
But even with all her "A" list appointments in Christian music, Houston's six studio recordings have left much to be desired for believers looking ...