The Story of... 'I Have Nothing' by Whitney Houston

21 November 2018, 15:30 | Updated: 21 November 2018, 15:37

I Have Nothing Whitney
Picture: Arista

By Tom Eames

It's one of the greatest power ballads of all time...

Whitney Houston's anthem 'I Have Nothing' remains of her best-loved songs, but what inspired its lyrics and how did it come to be used in The Bodyguard?

Whitney Houston's 10 greatest songs ever

Here's all you need to know about the classic ballad:

  1. Who wrote 'I Have Nothing'?

    David Foster and Linda Thompson in 2013
    David Foster and Linda Thompson in 2013. Picture: Getty

    'I Have Nothing' was written by David Foster and Linda Thompson for the soundtrack of the 1992 movie The Bodyguard.

    Whitney Houston signed a contract allowing her to select which songs she would perform in the film, and agreed upon this power ballad.

    Former beauty pageant winner Linda Thompson previously dated Elvis Presley and was married to former Olympian Bruce Jenner (now known as Caitlyn Jenner), before marrying her songwriting partner Foster in 1991. They divorced in 2005.

    Prolific songwriter Foster has written for artists including Chaka Khan, Christina Aguilera, Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bublé, Chicago, Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Kenny Rogers, Seal, Rod Stewart, Donna Summer, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Barbra Streisand.

    Aged 68 in June 2018, he became engaged to 34-year-old former American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee.

  2. 'I Have Nothing' meaning: What is the song about?

    Whitney Houston - I Have Nothing (Official Video)

    The song is a power ballad about deep love and the confusion that happens to lovers due to the different perceptions of women and men when it comes to relationship commitment.

    The music video was directed by SA Baron, and shows Whitney performing the song to an audience in a dining room hall. The video also includes scenes from the film.

  3. How did it perform in the charts?

    Following the mammoth success of the soundtrack's lead singles 'I Will Always Love You' and 'I'm Every Woman', the song was another hit.

    It reached the top five in the US, Canada and the UK and helped the soundtrack become one the best-selling of all time.

    It was also nominated for an Oscar, but lost out to 'A Whole New World' from Aladdin.

  4. Who has covered the song?

    Ariana Grande - I Have Nothing (Live at the White House)

    Many artists have covered the song live, including:

    - Natalie Cole (at the 1993 Oscars)
    - Patti Labelle (a tribute to Whitney in 1997)
    - Ariana Grande (at the White House)
    - Christina Aguilera (a tribute to Whitney in 2017)
    - Jessie J