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Queen of the Night (song)

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"Queen of the Night"
Single by Whitney Houston
from the album The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album
ReleasedOctober 13, 1993
RecordedNovember 9, 1991[1]
StudioLarrabee Sound Studios, West Hollywood, California
  • 3:06 (album version)
  • 3:21 (CJ's single edit)
  • L.A. Reid
  • Babyface
Whitney Houston singles chronology
"Run to You"
"Queen of the Night"
"Something in Common"
Music video
"Queen of the Night" on YouTube

"Queen of the Night" is a song co-written by American singer and actress Whitney Houston along with L.A. Reid, Babyface and Daryl Simmons. Produced by Reid and Babyface and performed by Houston, it was released on October 13, 1993 by Arista Records as the fifth and final single from the soundtrack album The Bodyguard (1992), and is played during the closing credits of the film of the same name.

An uptempo hard rock number in which Houston expresses how she "rules the club scene" as the self-proclaimed "queen of the night", it was released to US radio in November 1993 and peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Pop Airplay chart, number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart, and number one on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart, becoming Houston's fifth number one dance single. Due to Billboard's charting requirements at that time, singles without a commercial release were ineligible to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was released in several other countries. In the UK, it peaked at number 14 on the UK Singles Chart, and numbers nine and four on the Music Week Dance Singles and Airplay charts.

Critical reception[edit]

A reviewer from AllMusic complimented "Queen of the Night" as "a first-rate urban pop song that skillfully captures Houston at her best."[6] Larry Flick from Billboard commented, "If anyone can successfully bring house music back to pop radio, it's Houston", describing it as "a wickedly catchy ditty, armed with a chorus that will stick in your mind like sinfully sweet brain candy."[4] Troy J. Augusto from Cash Box named it Pick of the Week, writing that "it's actually one of Houston's least impressive single releases—but its aggressive vocal delivery and En Vogue-like flow will probably make for another chart-topper."[7] A reviewer from CD Universe felt that Houston "continues to mine her rich vein of ornate balladry and pop-flavored dance workouts, [like] on her own 'Queen of the Night,' with its percolating upbeat production a la L.A. Reid & Babyface."[8]

Chris Willman of the L.A. Times assessed the song negatively, "The only obvious dud (on the album) is 'Queen of the Night,' a silly stab at hard-rock that's almost a dead ringer for En Vogue's "Free Your Mind", particularly where her vocals are multi tracked."[2] Howard Cohen from The Miami Herald said the singer "slips into a downright funky mode on the R&B workout".[3] Dave Piccioni from Music Week's RM Dance Update stated that Houston "returns to the pure house sound with this wonderful CJ Mackintosh collaboration", remarking that she "is in as full vocal form as ever and the gospelled vocal harmonies are sweet and strong."[5] Another RM editor, James Hamilton, called it a "CJ Mackintosh remixed pleasant but bland jiggly garage-style loper".[9] Stephen Holden from The New York Times deemed it a "run-of-the-mill dance tune".[10] Popdose compared its production to Janet Jackson's "Black Cat".[11] Arion Berger from Rolling Stone said that "on "Queen of the Night", L.A. and Babyface start out stomping and never stop, letting Houston belt riotously along until she drops or they do. (They do.)"[12] USA Today writer James T. Jones IV. described it as a surprise, "rocking" tune.[13] James Hunter from Vibe noted that it lets the remixer replace the producer's "guitar slams with snare-happy waves of glowing rhythm that add up to disco for a generation that's unsure whether disco is nostalgic or eternal."[14]

Music video[edit]

The accompanying music video for "Queen of the Night", directed by English film director and television producer Mick Jackson,[15] features the full performance Houston gives in the motion picture The Bodyguard, which is interrupted by violence. The video features footage from the 1927 film Metropolis and was later made available on Houston's official YouTube channel in 2009. It had generated more than 18 million views as of January 2024.[16]

Live performances[edit]

In live performances by Houston, the song's arrangement was faithful to the 1993 CJ Mackintosh remix, which was used during Houston's The Bodyguard World Tour (1993–1994) and also for her performance at the 1994 Soul Train Music Awards.

Track listings and formats[edit]


Popular culture[edit]

This song was covered by American Idol contestant Haley Scarnato in 2006. This song was covered during Australian singer Delta Goodrem's Believe Again Tour at various locations throughout Australia in 2009. The 2009 X Factor contestants also performed this song on Sunday, October 18, 2009 as a group performance. Contestant Stacey Solomon, who came third, performed this song on The X Factor Live Tour 2010. The independent, web-based, electronic/dubstep artist known as Futret released a remix/crossover-cover of the song in early February 2012.[41] The song is also mentioned in the show Bob's Burgers, the episode "O.T.: The Outside Toilet" in which the character Gene talks to an expensive talking toilet, who can answer any of your questions. Gene asks "Who is the queen of the night?" and the toilet responds saying "Whitney Houston." The song was covered by Monika Linkytė in week two of "Eurovizijos" dainų konkurso nacionalinė atranka.[42] Ariana Grande performed this song and "How Will I Know" as a tribute to Whitney Houston in the ABC series finale of Greatest Hits. Madame Tussauds Hollywood's wax figure of Houston depicts her performance of the song in The Bodyguard.

Kelly Clarkson covers[edit]

Singer Kelly Clarkson recorded covers of Queen of the Night on two occasions. First was on Clarkson's original demo tape recorded in 2001.[43] The second was for the album, Kellyoke[44]


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  2. ^ a b L.A. Times review
  3. ^ a b Cohen, Howard (November 24, 1992). "Houston hits overdrive on sound track". p. 7E. The Miami Herald.
  4. ^ a b Flick, Larry (December 18, 1993). "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. p. 99. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Piccioni, Dave (October 23, 1993). "Hot Vinyl" (PDF). Music Week, in Record Mirror (Dance Update Supplemental Insert). p. 7. Retrieved April 4, 2021.
  6. ^ AllMusic review
  7. ^ Augusto, Troy J. (December 18, 1993). "Pop Singles: Reviews – Pick Of The Week" (PDF). Cash Box. p. 11. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  8. ^ CD Universe review
  9. ^ Hamilton, James (October 23, 1993). "Dj directory" (PDF). Music Week, in Record Mirror (Dance Update Supplemental Insert). p. 7. Retrieved April 4, 2021.
  10. ^ The New York Times review
  11. ^ "'Face Time: Whitney Houston, "Queen of the Night"". Cass, Giles, Heyliger. Popdose.com. April 29, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  12. ^ Berger, Arion (February 18, 1993). "Recordings". Rolling Stone. Issue 650.
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  34. ^ "Dance Singles" (PDF). Music Week. November 6, 1993. p. 24. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  35. ^ "The RM Club Chart" (PDF). Music Week, in Record Mirror (Dance Update Supplemental Insert). November 6, 1993. p. 4. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
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  41. ^ "QUEEN OF THE NIGHT | Futret". Archived from the original on August 1, 2012. Retrieved February 29, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  42. ^ ""Eurovizijos" atranką paliko pirmieji dalyviai". LRT (in Lithuanian). January 10, 2015. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  43. ^ "Why Kelly Clarkson put a song she's never sung on her show on new 'Kellyoke' EP". WRMF.com. 9 June 2022.
  44. ^ "Kelly Clarkson Shares 'Queen of the Night' From 'Kellyoke' EP". Broadway.com.

External links[edit]