The same year, Houston embarked on her 70-city My Love Is Your Love World Tour. The European leg of the tour was a smashing success, becoming the highest-grossing arena tour of the year. Things were going well when events suddenly took a turn in the summer.
Whitney had to cancel a string of concert dates due to illness. Her rep explained that the singer was suffering from debilitating throat problems and a bronchitis situation.
My Love Is Your Love
Whitney's first studio album in eight years, "My Love Is Your Love," was released in November 1998. She had devoted most of the early and mid-1990s to making motion pictures.
The album was a long time coming and a breath of fresh air. It was originally intended to be a greatest hits collection with a few new songs. Thankfully, for fans, the recording sessions were so rewarding that a new full-length studio album was born.
A New Sound
Big industry names like Rodney Jerkins, Wyclef Jean, and Missy Elliott produced "My Love Is Your Love." The team recorded and mixed it in six weeks. The critically acclaimed album debuted at number thirteen on the Billboard 200 chart, its highest position.
What set this release apart from previous ones was a more funky and edgy sound. Whitney’s fabulous vocals effortlessly juggled several genres: urban dance, reggae, hip hop, torch songs, mid-tempo R&B, and ballads. She received some of her best reviews ever for the album. The Village Voice called it "Whitney's sharpest and most satisfying so far."
It’s Raining Awards
Even as the singer took time off to recuperate, the good news was still in the offing. Whitney was named the top-selling R&B female artist of the century by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in November 1999.
With certified sales of 51 million copies in the United States at the time, the RIAA also named "The Bodyguard" soundtrack the top-selling soundtrack album of the century.
Her Duet With Mariah Carey
There was something about Whitney and film projects — everything she touched turned to gold. In 1998, she collaborated with other legendary stars on several film projects.
Among them was a duet with vocal powerhouse Mariah Carey for the animated film "The Prince of Egypt." "When You Believe" received considerable acclaim, with critics calling the track "epic" and "stunning." Many considered the duet a powerful return for Whitney, who had remained relatively under the radar for a while.