Penned by Babyface in 1995, “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” was featured on the soundtrack for the film Waiting to Exhale, starring Whitney Houston. Initially, according to Fred Bronson’s book The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, Houston was not even interested in singing on the soundtrack because she wanted to focus more on her acting. But Babyface was persistent in persuading her to change her mind.
“When Whitney first heard the song, she figured I’d lost it—I couldn’t come up with words anymore. And, actually, she’s right. I couldn’t think of anything for that particular part. It felt like it should groove there. But I knew it couldn’t groove without any vocals, so I started humming along with it and that’s what happened,” Babyface told Bronson. “The ‘shoops’ came. But they felt so good, I thought ‘Why not?’ It doesn’t have to mean anything.” Houston was sold and so were we.