Spiritual Sundays-“I Look to You”

Whitney Houston was always known for her big voice and moving emotion. Yet throughout her long career there is still only one song that can move me to the point to tears — no matter how many times I listen to it. It’s inspirational, relatable and one of our last memories of the great star.

Whitney Houston's music video for "I Look to You."
Whitney Houston’s music video for “I Look to You.”

The title track of Whitney Houston’s 2009 studio album — “I Look to You” — was said to be the star’s song of triumph. Houston returned from her 7 year musical hiatus with a message of hope and inspiration for both her and her fans.

After all her troubles and life struggles Houston put out an album that she said she hoped would “not only inspire me, but inspires a whole lot of other people.”

Well it sure did. While I can’t say that I have heard every song on this album, I think that “I Look to You” is the perfect song to sum up so much of what Houston wanted this album to be.

Whitney Houston poses for "I Look to You" album art.
Whitney Houston poses for “I Look to You” album art.

This song holds a positive message, a powerful meaning and contains raw emotions throughout its entirety. From the moment the first note is played until that last line is sung, a listener is just enraptured by the feeling and emotions Houston evokes.

The lyrics are real and I feel they are very relatable to many people’s struggles and trials. They help you find a sense of self within the song, causing a greater reaction.

The lines are sung over a piano heavy beat and talk about looking to God when life is hard and troubles have come your way. While the chorus isn’t overly complex I believe it is one of the strongest parts of the song.

I look to you, I look to you. And when all my strength is gone, in you I can be strong. I look to you, I look to you. And when melodies are gone, in you I hear a song. I look to you.”

The song was written by R&B singer R. Kelly, and was released on July 23rd of 2009. It peaked at number 14 on the US charts and Houston said that not only did the song sum up the album, but it also summed up where she was at in life at the time.

R. I. P. Whitney Houston 1963-2012
R. I. P. Whitney Houston 1963-2012

Since its release in 2009 the song has been covered by Amber Riley (Mercedes) on FOX’s hit musical dramedy Glee, by UK X-Factor winner Joe McElderry and then released as a duet — with R. Kelly — shortly after Houston’s tragic death in 2012.

I am going to post three versions for you to listen to. The Glee cover, The Duet version with R. Kelly and of course Whitney’s version. I believe all three of these versions really focus on the message and emotions of the song and are all very moving performances.

This song has helped me through some rough times, and whenever I feel hopeless or like I’m ready to give up, all I have to do is play this song and once again my faith is restored.

It generates such an uplifting message that it’s hard not to smile by the time the song is over. I believe this song is a positive way to start our week and a wonderful way to start “Spiritual Sundays.”

“I Look to You”-Whitney Houston

“I Look to You”-Featuring R. Kelly

“I Look to You”-Amber Riley


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