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Whitney Houston classic 'Greatest Love of All' re-released with powerful new video

The 1985 ballad is back as part of Black Music Month

The new video for ‘Greatest Love of All’ by the late Whitney Houston was made in collaboration with her estate and Black Archives. AP
The new video for ‘Greatest Love of All’ by the late Whitney Houston was made in collaboration with her estate and Black Archives. AP

A Whitney Houston classic is back to inspire a new generation.

The late singer’s 1985 hit Greatest Love of All has been re-released for Black Music Month with a stirring new video chronicling the experiences of African-Americans.

Created in collaboration with the Whitney Houston Estate and Chicago heritage organisation Black Archives, the video was created using historical and modern footage from the 1940s to the present day, showing the struggle and triumphs African-Americans have endured over the decades.

From civil rights-era mass protests to intimate scenes of weddings, barbecues and sibling fun, the affecting footage – interspersed with scenes from the original music video featuring Houston – perfectly captures the song’s original sentiments, as an ode to resilience and self-respect.

“The lyric video artfully unites these images in harmony with the moving lyrics of the song to embody the beauty, joy, expression and pride within the black community, specifically through our black youth,” a statement from the Houston estate said.

Whitney: a legacy in music, film and stage

The re-release is the latest move from the estate to preserve Houston’s legacy. The star drowned in February 2011 aged 48, on the eve of the Grammy Awards.

On February 14 this year, a remastered 4K version of Greatest Love of All was released for Valentine’s Day. To mark the end of Black Music Month, which falls on Tuesday, June 30, the estate will release a 35th anniversary vinyl of Houston's self-titled debut album, which includes the track.

There is also a biopic in the works, for which Bohemian Rhapsody writer Anthony McCarten is penning the script. Music mogul Clive Davis, Houston’s mentor, is lending a hand on the project.

"From all my personal and professional experience with Whitney, from her late teenage years to her tragic premature death, I know the full Whitney Houston story has not yet been told,” he said in a statement announcing the film.

Stella Meghie, who was behind this year’s romantic drama The Photograph, is reportedly in talks to direct the film.

Such initiatives are music to the ears of fans, who have more recently been divided by the estate’s decision to tour a virtual version of Houston.

An Evening with Whitney: The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour kicked off on February 25 in England and managed to finish its UK run on March 10, before the full force of the pandemic struck. It remains to be seen whether the planned Las Vegas residency, set to begin on Tuesday, September 29, will still go ahead. If so, the technical team have some work to do.

Reviews of the UK performances have been underwhelming, with the BBC stating the "the creepily detached digital Whitney in this show has more why-factor than X-factor." Meanwhile, The Guardian labelled the affair “ghoulish”.

For now, however, fans should be happy with the new video and coming album re-release. Both will serve as a tribute to a singular talent, lost too soon.

Updated: June 24, 2020 01:18 PM

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