Exhale (Shoop Shoop)


Exhale (Shoop Shoop) – 1995

“Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” is a song by American recording artist Whitney Houston, featured on the soundtrack for the film Waiting to Exhale. It was released as the lead single from the soundtrack on November 7, 1995, by Arista Records. The song was written and produced by Babyface. A mid-tempo R&B ballad, composed in the key of C major, the song’s lyrics speaks about growing up and learning to let go. The song garnered mostly positive reviews from critics, many of whom noted Houston’s vocal maturity in the song.

In the United States, it became the third single to debut on top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in Billboard’s history, and Houston’s eleventh (and final) number one single. It was later certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of one million copies. The song also reached number one in Canada and Spain, and the top 10 in Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Sweden. Additionally, it peaked within the top 20 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. At the 39th Annual Grammy Awards, held on February 26, 1997, “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” received four nominations, including the Grammy Award for the Song of the Year, and won in the category of Best R&B Song. The song also won four other awards, including a Soul Train Music Award.

“Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” is an R&B ballad written in the key of C major.The song is set in common time with a tempo of 80 beats per minute. It has the sequence of F(add9)–C/E–Dm7–C as its chord progression throughout the track, and Houston’s vocals span an octave and a perfect fifth, from G3 to D5. The song’s instrumentation includes quiet bells and strings, and the whole arrangement is mellow. According to Steve Knopper of Newsday, the bells resemble electronic Christmas bells, and Houston ad-libs “shoo-pay” over the chorus. The chorus repeats the phrase “shoop de shoop”.