Hannah Lux Davis (Ariana Grande, Halsey) directed the colorful, nostalgic visual, which opens with a group of men walking down a dusty street when one of them veers off towards a warehouse as the opening chords of “Higher Love” ring out in the distance. The man then looks through a window to see a group of women in Eighties jazzercise gear — high-cut bodysuits, bright leggings, sweatbands — rehearsing a dance routine. His friends join, mesmerized, before the women notice the voyeurs. The lead dancer, played by Riverdale‘s Vanessa Morgan, shoos them away before the guy who found the women enters the room.
When he opens the door, his clothes transform into similar dance gear and he immediately begins dancing with the women while Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” video plays on a small TV in the background. After the rest of the guys join in, Morgan is accidentally kicked in the head, prompting her to awaken from a dream and realize the male dancer in her fantasy is just the waiter at the restaurant where she’d fallen asleep.
Originally released by Steve Winwood in 1986, Houston recorded a cover of “Higher Love” for her 1990 album I’m Your Baby Tonight, but the track was ultimately left off as she pivoted to a more R&B sound. Her estate decided to revive the cover with Kygo this year as the first of many releases celebrating her musical legacy.
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“The current cultural environment has been thirsty for something uplifting and inspiring,” her sister-in-law and estate manager Pat Houston told Rolling Stone. “Who better to inspire than Whitney, the most exhilarating vocalist of all time?”