“I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” is the first single from Whitney Houston’s second studio album Whitney. It was produced by Narada Michael Walden, and written by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam of the band Boy Meets Girl, who had previously written the number-one Whitney Houston hit “How Will I Know.” The original arrangement was more of a country tune, but was transformed by Walden to make it a dance song.
The song received mixed reviews from critics, who compared the musical arrangement to her own “How Will I Know” and Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” The song won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 30th Grammy Awards, and in later years received more complimentary reviews, being broadly considered an eighties gem. The single was a commercial success, topping the charts in 13 countries including Australia, Germany and the UK. In the US, it became her fourth consecutive number one single and sold over one million copies, making it her biggest hit in that country at the time. It was eventually surpassed by her version of “I Will Always Love You.”