Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder's duet of 'We Didn't Know' is mind-blowing

20 November 2020, 17:28 | Updated: 22 November 2020, 16:35

By Giorgina Ramazzotti and Tom Eames

Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder's 1990 performance of 'We Didn't Know' is a forgotten masterpiece.

We love a good duet. Barry Gibb and Michael Jackson, George Michael and Pavarotti, ABBA and Olivia. All amazing.

But sometimes duets happen just once, and are largely forgotten over time. However, thanks to the age of YouTube and social media, we can be reminded of these pop gems again.

See more: When Whitney Houston sang the national anthem so powerfully she moved a nation to tears

When two of America's finest ever singers, Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder, teamed up in a duet, it was inevitable that the ensuing performance would be sensational.

When two of America's finest ever singers, Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder, teamed up in a duet, it was inevitable that the ensuing performance would be sensational.
When two of America's finest ever singers, Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder, teamed up in a duet, it was inevitable that the ensuing performance would be sensational. Picture: Paramount
'We Didn't Know' was a mild hit in the States for the duo in 1992, having recorded it for Whitney's album I'm Your Baby Tonight two years previously. It wasn't a success in the UK.
'We Didn't Know' was a mild hit in the States for the duo in 1992, having recorded it for Whitney's album I'm Your Baby Tonight two years previously. It wasn't a success in the UK. Picture: Paramount

'We Didn't Know' was a mild hit in the States for the duo in 1992, having recorded it for Whitney's album I'm Your Baby Tonight two years previously. It wasn't a success in the UK.

See more: QUIZ: How well do you know Whitney Houston's song lyrics?

The single was released on April 14, 1992 in the US and peaked at number 20 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart.

The song was written by Stevie, and is about two long-time friends that realize that they have romantic feelings for each other, and that they "didn't know" until now.

See more: Remembering Tom Jones and Stevie Wonder's amazing duets 20 years apart

Despite not setting the charts alight, James Hunter from Rolling Stone adored the song and praised it with a glowing review: "Wonder, who practically invented the keyboard-based pop that Houston and her fans hear as natural and contemporary, understands Houston totally.

No music video was made for the song, but you can listen to it in full below:

The song was written by Stevie, and is about two long-time friends that realize that they have romantic feelings for each other, and that they "didn&squot;t know" until now.
The song was written by Stevie, and is about two long-time friends that realize that they have romantic feelings for each other, and that they "didn't know" until now. Picture: Paramount

"He knows what she likes about the expressive properties of ballads, about the passion of rock... So, as he's done before in his own music and with other singers, he puts all of this... at the service of "We Didn't Know," which is about when "innocent friends/Turn serious lovers."

"Chances are — and with any luck — this emotionally engaged song on Whitney Houston's consistent and resourceful album will affect the music she sings for the rest of her life."

See next: Whitney Houston's unreleased cover of 'Higher Love' is finally unearthed - listen now

The one and only time Stevie and Whitney performed the song together live was on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1990 - and you can watch a clip from the performance above.