Whitney Houston Gets Help From Annie Lennox

Feb. 26 [12:00 EST] — You may have heard Whitney Houston’s second single from the “Preacher’s Wife” soundtrack, a song called “Step By Step,” but did you realize that the tune was originally done by singer Annie Lennox?

Lennox and Houston are signed to the same label, Arista Records, and the unique collaboration comes courtesy of label chief Clive Davis.

“Annie had already written “Step By Step,” and I believed she had already recorded it herself, for an album of hers,” Houston told MTV News.

“I think she liked the way it came off on her, and she told Clive she did a song that she thought I would kill. So I held on to it for a while, and Clive kept saying ‘Did you hear Step by Step’? And I said ‘No, I didn’t play it yet.’ Well finally I played it, and it just flipped me. It was like, how did she know to write a song like this and give it to me? And when I went in the studio, man, I put the funk on it, and put the soul up in it (“Step By Step” QuickTime, 1.8MB)… And I got a word back that she was floored.”

Whitney Houston’s “Step By Step” single also features an R&B re-mix by her longtime collaborator (and Blackstreet leader) Teddy Riley.

Whitney will perform on Wednesday night’s Grammy show, at 8 p.m. on CBS, and we’ll be there too, with a live “Backstage At The Grammy Awards” show Wednesday at 7 p.m. EST, and a live wrap-up at 11 p.m.